Pigot nabs Milwaukee pole with new track record

Juncos Racing’s Spencer Pigot blistered The Milwaukee Mile with a two-lap average of 150.868 mph.

West Allis, Wis. - For the second oval race on the 2015 calendar, a Mazda-powered Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires driver earned a place in the record books by obliterating an existing track record. Juncos Racing’s Spencer Pigot blistered The Milwaukee Mile with a two-lap average of 150.868 mph. The 21-year-old’s second lap of 150.961 mph was almost a full two miles per hour quicker than the 149.028 mph lap turned by Esteban Guerrieri during qualifying for the 2011 Indy Lights race.

Attempt to duplicate victory

It is the fourth pole of the year – and his first on an oval – for Pigot, the reigning Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires champion, who will attempt to duplicate his 2014 Milwaukee Pro Mazda victory.

Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian rookie RC Enerson was able to utilize information gleaned from his teammate Ethan Ringel to take provisional pole early in the qualifying session. Ringel, the Freedom 100 polesitter, was the first car on track and the 20 year-old discovered the track had “gripped-up” significantly after the Verizon IndyCar Series practice. Ringel, a series rookie who is coached by 2006 Indy Lights champion Jay Howard, will start the race on the inside of the fifth row.

Cracking the 150 mph barrier

Enerson, 18, was the first driver to record two laps at a speed north of 150 mph. The New Port Richey, Fla., native held onto the provisional pole until Pigot, the second to last driver of the day was able to nab the top spot.

Kyle Kaiser was the first driver to crack the 150 mph barrier and will start inside the second row. The one-three qualifying result for the Juncos Racing team is especially impressive after they struggled on the oval at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Championship points leader Jack Harvey of Schmidt Peterson qualified on the outside of the second row, while fellow championship contender Ed Jones of Carlin was only able to manage the seventh best two-lap average and will start inside of the fourth row.

After spinning and damaging a rear wishbone and rear wing end fence on his fourth lap of the one and only practice session, the Schmidt Peterson crew was able to get the No. 77 of Scott Anderson fixed in time for qualifying. The Fort Collins, Colo., native was able to qualify in eighth with a two-lap average speed of 147.568 mph.

Belardi Auto Racing’s duo of Juan Piedrahita and Felix Serralles will start beside each other in the third row. Piedrahita, a 22 year-old native of Bogota, Colombia, will be making his fourth start in Milwaukee and will be looking to score his third podium.

The entire Indy Lights field was able to test at The Milwaukee Mile in May. However, Formula 1 veteran Max Chilton was not able to make the test due to his commitments preparing for The 24 Hours Of Le Mans. The 24 year-old qualified in 10th with a respectable two-lap average of 145.999 mph.

The green flag for tomorrow's 100-lap Grand Prix of Milwaukee, which precedes the Verizon IndyCar Series ABC Supply Wisconsin 250, will fly at 2:00 p.m. CDT. The race will air on the NBC Sports Network at 11:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, July 15, 2015.

Spencer Pigot (No. 12 Mazda/Doug Mockett & Company/Rising Star Racing/The Stutz/BAD/OMP - Juncos Racing): (Regarding the point for pole in a tight championship) “It’s very important because the top three are very close in the championship, but the thing that is more important is that there are a few guys between myself and Jack and Ed (his closest championship competitors), so hopefully they stay there during the race and we’ll be able to stretch it out more tomorrow.”

(Regarding coming back from the struggles on the oval at Indianapolis) “We’ve been studying a lot of things that we learned in May and that we’ve learned testing here at Milwaukee and Iowa that will help us on the ovals. Obviously the hard work is paying and it is showing here in qualifying. We’ll see if we can do it when it matters tomorrow.”

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Event Milwaukee
Sub-event Saturday qualifying
Track Milwaukee Mile
Drivers Esteban Guerrieri , Max Chilton , Jack Harvey , Juan Piedrahita , Spencer Pigot , Ethan Ringel , R.C. Enerson , Kyle Kaiser , Ed Jones
Teams Schmidt Peterson Motorsports
Article type Qualifying report