Canadian Scott Hargrove has secured a return to the Mazda Road To Indy, joining Juan Piedrahita at Team Pelfrey’s new Indy Lights outfit for the opening rounds in St. Petersburg.
Hargrove, who won the 2013 USF2000 Championship and finished runner-up in Pro Mazda the following year, struggled to find the finances for a whole season in 2015.
After two Indy Lights races in the 8Star Motorsport squad in St. Petersburg, in which he finished fourth and sixth, he wasn’t seen again on the Mazda Road to Indy except in the three Pro Mazda races supporting IndyCar’s Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
He commented: "After a year away from the Mazda Road to Indy, I’m ready to come back in full force to continue chasing my dream of racing in IndyCar. Joining the new Team Pelfrey Indy Lights program for the 2016 championship is a huge honor and one step closer to that goal.
"I’m sure this partnership will yield amazing results as the chemistry is already intact. Working with both Gary Neal [team manager] and Yves [Touron, race engineer] in the past has been a pleasure as they are two of the best in the business. They genuinely care about results and do everything in their power to provide the best car possible."
An IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge Canada champion in 2014, Hargrove did a second year in the category last year, finishing third in the Platinum championship despite missing two rounds.
Joining Pelfrey is a coming of home of sorts for Hargrove, 21, as the team’s Indy Lights squad is founded on the 8Star outfit with whom he raced last year.
Gary Neal commented: “Having Scott in the car, I expect to be near the front, and having him and Juan [Piedrahita] sharing information will be a great help, because we expect the competition to be strong.
“Indy Lights is so competitive, and getting more so. I’m honestly expecting to see eight drivers competing for the championship this year.
“Myself and Yves [Touron, race engineer] worked for 8Star Motorsports last year, and so we ran Scott in those two races at St. Pete and we were impressed. If we get that energy going again, we can be very competitive in St. Pete this year.
“Like I say, I think we struggled last year as a one-car team, but with Scott and Juan, I think we can develop a good chemistry. Juan’s in his third season in Lights and he’s already proven competitive on the ovals with second at Milwaukee last year.”
Hargrove concurred, stating: "It will be nice partnering with Juan as he has a year of experience [with the Dallara IL15] under his belt. I’m sure we will work well together to develop the car as well as push each other to be better on track."
2016 Indy Lights line-up so far
|Belardi Auto Racing||
Zachary Claman DeMelo
|McCormack Racing||Davey Hamilton Jr|
|Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||