Scott Hargrove’s test pace at Barber Motorsports Park has convinced Team Pelfrey team manager Gary Neal that the team can be contenders in the opening two Indy Lights races at St. Petersburg next weekend.
The Canadian, who made two Lights starts last year, was third fastest at the 2.38-mile road course just outside Birmingham, Ala., less than 0.2sec off pacesetter Santiago Urrutia of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Hargrove completed 85 laps, while teammate Juan Piedrahita, was 12th fastest and clocked the most laps of the test, at 115.
Said Neal: “It was a very productive day for Team Pelfrey-Indy Lights. Juan and Scott were able to log a lot of laps, and we got to make a lot of changes and develop the cars a bit.
“We think the adjustments we made today will translate well to St. Pete next week, and we believe we can compete right away.”
The team heads back to its Pompano Beach, Fla shop for just a couple days before heading to the west coast of the state but the quick turnaround does not concern Neal.
“It’s not much time, but we’re confident that we’ll be ready to go,” he said.
Team Pelfrey is regarded as an ace Pro Mazda and USF2000 operation, but 2016 is the first time it has entered Indy Lights. The move was made feasible by its acquisition of 8Star Motorsports’ assets during the off-season. 8Star scored two wins in 2015 with Sean Rayhall at the wheel.
Pelfrey’s move means it is the only squad to have entries in all three categories of the Mazda Road To Indy this year.