PIGOT EXITS SEBRING WITH TWO PODIUMS AND SKIP BARBER NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD Floridian extends podium run to four races at famed Sebring 12 Hours event SEBRING, FLA. (March 22, 2010) - Spencer Pigot continued his early season pursuit of...
PIGOT EXITS SEBRING WITH TWO PODIUMS AND SKIP BARBER NATIONAL
Floridian extends podium run to four races at famed Sebring 12 Hours event
SEBRING, FLA. (March 22, 2010) - Spencer Pigot continued his early season pursuit of the BF Goodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda title this past week (March 18-19) with a pair of podium finishes in Rounds Three and Four at Sebring International Raceway. The superb runs at the famed Sebring 12 Hour event not only re-affirmed his place as a rising star in the junior formula car ranks, but they also ensured that he exited the opening races in Florida with the championship lead.
Given that the 16 year-old Pigot had previously found success at the historic Sebring road course - winning the 2009 Skip Barber Karting Shootout - many were expecting a strong run from the talented young racer. Pigot quickly lived up to those expectations, turning the quickest time in unofficial lapping sessions on Tuesday. That trend continued one-day later when the event officially got underway, as Pigot yet again posted the fastest time in the lone practice run of the event.
When Pigot returned to the cockpit of MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development/Skip Barber/Sparco USA car on Thursday morning for Round Three qualifying, he was confident that he could challenge for the pole position. Things did not go quite according to plan, however, as the combination of traffic and his car's set-up meant that the teenager was unable to match his times from the previous two days, earning a fourth place starting position for the opening race of the doubleheader later in the day.
Pigot was well aware that a clean start would be the key to a strong run, and he got just that when the green flag waved on Thursday afternoon, slotting into the middle of the lead pack. Running fast consistent laps around the 3.7-mile road course, the Floridian never stayed more than a few car lengths from the lead, ensuring that he would be part of the expected last-lap battle for the win. Pigot made his final move exiting the last turn on the final lap and came up just short in the drag race to the checkered flag, earning his third consecutive podium finish by a mere 0.126s in second place.
Pigot promptly built on this success when the on-track action resumed on Friday morning, as the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development driver was among those battling for the Round Four pole position in qualifying. Unfortunately, a red flag situation arose when two cars collided in turn one, resulting in the session being shortened with Pigot ending the run in third place.
With friends and family cheering him on, it immediately became apparent that the multiple karting champion would be part of the battle for the win once again when the green flag waved for Round Four after the lunch break. As the order within the top-five rotated lap after lap, it once again came down to strategy and positioning to determine who would emerge with the victory. Pigot's chances at the win vanished on the final lap, however, as a heated battle for second contested by six drivers allowed the race leader to break the draft and pull away to the win. Pigot was able to emerge from the fight for position near the front, crossing the stripe in third place, extending his podium run to four. More importantly, the result ensured Pigot exited his home state continuing to lead championship standings.
"We were hoping for at least one win this weekend but unfortunately it was not to be," stated Pigot. "We made a set up change before the start of the second race, but the track conditions changed and ended up with major oversteer. However, I am happy to come away from Sebring with second and third positions and a seven point lead in the championship going into VIR. As always thanks to my driver coach, Jonatan Jorge, MazdaSpeed, Skip Barber,Sparco USA and my personal sponsors Parathyroid.com, California Scents, Lott-O-Lawyer.Com and Silver Knight Racing."
Pigot now has a break of just over a month before the BF Goodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda season continues at Virginia International Raceway on April 24-25. Entering Rounds Five and Six, the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development driver leads the championship fight by seven points (128-121).