Pigot on Top on the Streets of Baltimore
Baltimore, MD. – Spencer Pigot (AR1.com teammate when the AR1.com go-kart team dominated the pre-race go-kart race prior to the St. Petersburg GP this year.) took advantage of a rare error by teammate and polesitter Matthew Brabham to claim victory in Race #1 of the USF2000 Baltimore Grand Prix Presented by Allied Building Products. The Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing driver returned to the top step of the podium for his sixth win and eighth podium of the season.
|Spencer Pigot (top step) celebrates his win|
A strong crowd was on hand to witness an exciting 17-lap race around the now 2.04-mile, 13-turn temporary street circuit which, as of last evening, included the addition of a new chicane. Brabham was on point with Pigot lining up second as the green flag flew but a braking error in Turn One forced the current points leader down the escape road. Pigot seized the opening and never looked back.
Brabham, meanwhile, found himself in fifth position behind Roman Lagudi who charged from fourth to second in the #4 Champion Stone/Tool and Supply/High Performance Distributors Belardi Auto Racing entry, Matthew Di Leo and Scott Anderson in the #14 Belardi Auto Racing MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development/Neuropathy Testing Center/Laser Nail Centers car. The caution flags flew twice in the opening laps for several multiple car incidents on the tight and challenging circuit but it was all green-flag racing for the final 11 laps.
Battles ensued throughout the 28-car field as Brabham worked his way to third and eventually passed Di Leo for the second spot on the podium. En route, Brabham posted the fastest lap of the race earning an additional point and the pole position for tomorrow’s Race 2. This was Di Leo’s fourth podium of the season and seventh top-five finish.
ArmsUp Motorsports’ Luigi Biangardi finished fourth – his third top five – after starting eighth in the #15 Inject-it/Gulfstream Properties/Slick Locks/Chicago Indoor Karting machine. Anderson picked up his eighth top-five result after a heated battle for fifth spot in the race standings, and Scott Hargrove of JDC MotorSports – who missed several races mid-season – quickly moved back into the fray with a strong drive from 14th to sixth to post his best result of the year in the #38 Analytic Systems/Race Energy/Skip Barber Racing School/Red Line Oil entry.
Brabham still leads the Championship Class standings, but Pigot has narrowed the gap to nine points. Anderson lies in third with a charging Di Leo in fourth and Lagudi in fifth.
In the National Class, Henrik Furuseth of Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing posted a stunning drive from 19th on the starting grid to eighth overall to claim his fifth win of the season in the #32 Palfinger/Akrene Med Verksted entry. Championship rival R.C. Enerson finished 11th overall and second in class to maintain the points lead over Furuseth by seven points for ZSports Midwest with Team E Racing (#10 Patriot Bank/Team E). Mark Eaton was third in class for Robin Motor Sports in the #92 Deathtolionfish.org/Valvoline entry to post his seventh top-three drive.
Contingency awards included the Tilton Hard Charger Award, for the driver who gained the most positions during the race, which was claimed by Furuseth for his gain of 11 positions; the PFC Award for the winning car owner, which was issued to Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing; and the Staubli Award, a random finisher award, which was presented to Colin Thompson of Belardi Auto Racing (#11 The Thompson Organization/AWE Tuning/Sparco/ Laboratory Testing, Inc./RePlay XD/iRacing).
The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda will return to racing action on the streets of Baltimore tomorrow for Race #2 at 10:35 am ET. Live commentary and Timing and Scoring can be found at www.usf2000.com.
Spencer Pigot, #2 Team Pelfrey/Doug Mockett & Company/E-merging Technologies/ Parathyroid.com (Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing) – First: “It is great to get back on the top step. It’s been a little while and I am happy to be back. The guys at Cape Motorsports, Dominic and Nicholas [Cape], my mechanic Will [Paul] were awesome all weekend and I have to thank them a lot. I love racing in downtown Baltimore. It is a great event and I am looking forward to tomorrow. Thanks to everyone who supports me and makes this possible.”
Matthew Brabham, #83 DTE Group (Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing) – Second: “I had a good result but I made it tough at the start of the race. I made it easy into Turn One but I locked up on the dust on the inside and just out braked myself a bit. I had two choices – to go and risk it and slide through the first corner but I took the easy way and went around the escape road. I came out and lost four or five positions. The rest of the race, I was just trying to work my way back up. This is such a hard track to pass on and every opportunity I had I took a shot. It was good to have a couple of safety car periods so I could keep catching the gaps up relatively easily and quickly. It was a good race. Baltimore did an awesome job getting the track together for today and the chicane was pretty good. The team did a very good job and the racing was great out there. I would like to thank everyone.”
Matthew Di Leo, #56 Res Precast (MDL Racing) – Third: “At the start of the race, I stayed in the same position through the first corner. I had to fight my way for second and ended up getting it. When the caution came out, Matthew Brabham caught up to me and ended up passing me. I had to stay in third position. We checked out from the rest of the field and the only thing we had to worry about was lapped traffic. It was definitely a good race and I had a lot of fun. The streets of Baltimore is a wicked place to race and I would like to thank the city for letting us do this. I also have to thank my sponsors Res Precast and Mi-Jack Cranes for making this possible.”
Henrik Furuseth, #32 Palfinger/Akrene Mek Verksted (Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing) – First National Class: “My race was awesome. I had a great start going into the first corner and passed six or seven cars. I was able to pull away quite early. It was quite difficult with the safety car laps but I was able stay ahead the whole race. The car was just amazing. I have to thank Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing for that. They did an amazing job throughout the weekend and also the whole season in setting up the car.”