Team Pelfrey-Indy Lights Sees Potential Podium Cut Away in Race 1
 April 24, 2016| 
  • Team News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Similar to its Friday at Barber Motorsports Park, Team Pelfrey Indy Lights found encouraging signs on Saturday, but struggled to find the results that tend come with them. With both cars starting mid-pack, the No. 2 Polipetrosur/Pawco car driven by Juan Piedrahita and the No. 3 GAP Guard Mazda of Scott Hargrove both moved forward from the green flag, but a top five eluded both drivers, as a cut tire thwarted the latter’s run at a podium finish. 

Morning qualifying saw Hargrove place 9th for Race 1 with a fast time of 1 minute, 13.319 seconds, and Piedrahita 12th, his best time a 1:13.524. On the first lap of Race 1, Hargrove climbed up to fifth-place, while Piedrahita slipped to 13th. An early caution incident promoted both drivers two positions, placing Hargrove 3rd and Piedrahita 11th. On the ensuing lap 6 restart, Hargrove fought hard and eventually passed for second-place, but cut his right front tire in the process, and was forced to pit, ending his chances for a podium finish. Piedrahita climbed up to P9 in the process, and gained spots when Hargrove pitted and when another car retired in the final laps, netting him a 7th-place finish, his best of the season thus far. Hargrove rejoined the fight and never lost a lap, salvaging a 13th-place finish. 

“It’s always good to finish a race higher than you started, so I’m happy with that,” said Piedrahita. “I think we had a pretty good race. We kept our nose clean, which is the most important thing. The balance of the car started really well, but from the middle of the race to the end I was having issues with tire management and it kept me from chasing down the guys up front. We just have to figure it out and fight forward again tomorrow.” Sunday will mark Piedrahita’s sixth race at Barber, where he has now finished 7th three times. 

Saturday, however, was Hargrove’s first Indy Lights race at Barber Motorsports, and it went far from how he would have liked. “The start of the race was awesome,” said the Canadian. “I started ninth and fought my way up to third, then we were challenging for second. It was really close racing to that point, then we got bit by that close racing. We were trying to pass another car, and then just on power out of the corner, the right front of my car made contact with the left rear of another car and caused a flat tire. Disappointing because we were in a really good spot to make up a lot of points, and that’s hard to stomach. But at the same time I think we’re the quickest car. You want to win the race, not be the quickest car and be at the back, but at least that’s encouraging, and we’ll put it to use tomorrow.” 

Race 2 of the Legacy Indy Lights 100 starts Sunday at 1:20 p.m. ET. Ordered by second-fastest qualifying lap, Scott Hargrove will start 9th and Juan Piedrahita will start 11th. Live streaming of Sunday’s race can be found at indycar.racecontrol.com and on the Road to Indy TV 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.

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