Team Pelfrey Road America 2016 Race Report
 June 27, 2016| 
  • Team News
ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Team Pelfrey Indy Lights competed at the iconic Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisc. for rounds nine and ten of the 2016 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Championship. Drivers Juan Piedrahita and newcomer, Garett Grist battled the rest of the Indy Lights field in their trademark amber-yellow IL-15 Mazda-powered machines en-route to two top-10 finishes.
Grist, from Grimsby, Ontario, made his Indy Lights debut at the fastest road racing track inNorthAmerica, and showed impressive pace and progression throughout the weekend. Piedrahita’s last visit to the 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course came in 2012 in the Pro Mazda Championship, formerly known as the Star Mazda Championship. The teammates were eager to gain as much practice time as possible.
In Friday’s hour-long practice session, Piedrahita and Grist logged a combined total around 32 laps, with Piedrahita in seventh place on the time charts and Grist 12th. Grist and Piedrahita went on to qualify 8th and 9th respectively. With positions 1-9 qualifying within one second of each other, the first 20-lap race was destined to be one of the most competitive races of the season.
In Race One, Grist and Piedrahita completed the wild 20-lap contest that only featured one caution lap. Grist finished his first Indy Lights race with a top-10 finish in the 8th position. The23 year-old Colombian, Piedrahita, finished in 11th place after an off-track excursion while fighting for a spot in the top five.
A wet track in race two created an exciting start, with Grist and Piedrahita battling local driver James French throughout the first half of the race. With the circuit beginning to dry, drivers were forced to manage their rain tires and alter their lines to find the most amount of grip. In the later stages of the race, Grist went off course in turn 14 after contact with a fellow competitor but held on to finish 10th and collect his second consecutive top-10 finish in his debut weekend. Piedrahita’s second race was an up and down affair, battling his teammate and other competitors. He finished the race in 7th place, tying his best result of the season (Barber Race One).
The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship travels to Iowa Speedway for Round 11 of the 2016 schedule on July 9-10. The 0.894-mile oval in Newton, Iowa will host the final oval race on the Mazda Road to Indy calendar of 2016. Coverage for the race can be found on and followed all weekend long on the Team Pelfrey social media channels.
Juan Piedrahita (No. 2 Petrosur Team Pelfrey Indy Lights Mazda) on this weekend’s performance: “I’m really disappointed with the results. It was an up and down weekend and I knew I could have been a lot better but the wet track through everyone off. I’m looking forward to Iowa because we’ve been good on the ovals and it’s a track I enjoy.”
Garett Grist (No. 3 Team Pelfrey Indy Lights Mazda) on this weekend’s performance: “In Race Two we were the fastest car on track. I am disappointed I went off course and damaged the front wing because we were in a good position for a great result. For the weekend I’m really happy with the team and the car. It was a lot of fun making my debut at a track like this. Now I get some time off before we head to my home race in Toronto. It’s going to be a great weekend.”
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