Hargrove earns Podium in Team Pelfrey's Indy Lights debut
 March 12, 2016| 
  • Team News

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Saturday didn’t start the way Team Pelfrey-Indy Lights had hoped, but it ended with a trophy to bring home from the team’s first race in Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires, and both cars in the top ten. 

Both cars struggled for speed in morning qualifying, and Scott Hargrove started Race 1 from the inside of row 3, while Juan Piedrahita began his race from the inside of row 6. Both drivers advanced early in Race 1, but while passing Zach Veach for 2nd-place on lap 18, Hargrove made contact with the No. 5 car and lightly bent his steering. The damage would hamper him in chasing down leader Felix Serralles, and led him to coming home runner-up in the first race of 2016. 

“P2 in the first race for Team Pelfrey-Indy Lights is just fantastic,” said a tired but excited Hargrove. “The GAP Guard No. 3 car was absolutely hooked up in the beginning of the race, and then when Zach Veach had his issues I knew I had to go for it. It ended up in contact, but I was able to keep going for the entire race.” Hargrove had the pace to get to the lead, but the contact with Veach forced him to work to hold onto second place. ”My steering wheel was nearly at a 45-degree angle going down the front straight. Not ideal in the slightest, but somehow I hung on, and a P2 result is just phenomenal.” 

Piedrahita was caught in the middle of an aggressive pack fighting for top 8 honors, and fought his way up to a 9th-place finish. “P9 doesn’t sound too good, but honestly, with where we started I’m really, really happy,” said the Colombian. “The pace we had was front running pace, and I was really happy with the car. We got stuck behind another car, and I tried everything I could to pass him. Push-to-pass, bonsai moves, but I just couldn’t.” Despite the traffic, Piedrahita posted the 6th-fastest lap of the race. He will start Race 2 from the 12th starting spot, as his second fastest qualifying lap was the 12th such lap amongst the field. Hargrove will start from the inside of row 5, in 9th. 

Race 2 for the Indy Lights GP of St. Petersburg will begin Sunday at 9:45 a.m. ET. All sessions can be followed live at racecontrol.indycar.com, or on the Mazda Road to Indy TV mobile app. 

About Team Pelfrey-IL

Team Pelfrey, the 2011 rebirth of memorable IndyCar operation Team Pelfrey, ventures back into professional open-wheel racing with an important goal in mind: help and develop new talent. Starting in 2016, Team Pelfrey will become the first and only organization in motorsports that houses teams in each ladder of the Mazda Road to Indy, which grooms some of the best young talents in the world for North America’s premier open-wheel racing series, the Verizon IndyCar Series.

 

With state-of-the-art facilities at its fingertips, access to multiple test tracks all year round, an established reputation of success, and an intrinsic attitude where nothing but the best will do and anything can be done, now is the time to come aboard with Team Pelfrey-IL.

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