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Mar 30, 2014 - 04:54 AM
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Pigot Makes Winning Start to Season, Takes Victory for Rising Star Racing
Posted by: newsla on Mar 30, 2014 - 04:50 AM
Support Series News
Pigot Makes Winning Start to Season, Takes Victory for Rising Star Racing

Rising Star Racing driver Spencer Pigot delivered a perfect performance on Saturday as he won the opening race of the 2014 Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tires season with a dominating flag to flag run to victory after starting from the pole position. The race was staged as part of the big Verizon IndyCar weekend, which will see the Pro Mazda machines back in action for Race 2 on Sunday ahead of the IndyCar season-opening race (ABC, 3PM ET).


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Pigot, who entered the race weekend with some positive momentum after winning the Winterfest Championship, had to withstand the pressure of two restarts after yellow flag periods. But like clockwork, hit his marks on the restarts with the No. 7 Doug Mockett & Company/Rising Star Racing/Vitamin-DPro App/California Scents/Juncos Racing entry, growing his advantage to win by nearly three seconds after 17 laps on the temporary street circuit.

The race, as well as IndyCar qualifying, was held much later in the day than scheduled after significant rains swept the area and forced evacuations from the stands for race fans. The weather cleared late in the afternoon as event organizers were able to resume track running with the Mazda race taking the checkered flag shortly ahead of sunset.

“The race was pretty uneventful for the most part which is nice for me, it's the way I like it!” said Pigot, who grew up in Florida and has enjoyed multiple wins on the St. Petersburg circuit.

“The start was good - the first few laps were pretty difficult,” said Pigot. “It had been raining and I didn't know where the puddles would be. Pretty soon though I realized the grip was pretty good and I just had to get good exits out of the last corner for the restarts. The Juncos Racing guys are amazing. They've been doing an awesome job with the car set up. We have a lot of people here this weekend so I have to thank them and my sponsors Mockett, Rising Star Racing and they brought on Advanced Auto Parts and Peak Performance so it's great to have them on board and to get a win for everyone. They gave me a great car and it's very exciting— hopefully we can do it again tomorrow!”

Fellow Rising Star Racing pilot Neil Alberico had an impressive debut in his first official Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tires start, moving up from 10th on the grid to finish sixth at the checkered flag in his No. 2 Bondurant School/eFormulaCarNews.com/J&M Trophy Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing.

“We definitely had a shot,” said Alberico about a late-race push for position he made. “We had a quick car. The Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing guys did a great job to finish this day strongly with all the hectic schedule changes that happened. I'm pretty confident going into tomorrow. We made a few mistakes with the car going into qualifying so we came back and had plenty of time to think about it! (during the rain delay) So we fixed that and the car was fast and I couldn't be happier to come home with a sixth place finish. I think that's good for the team championship and we'll be good for tomorrow.”

Sunday will be a big day for the entire roster of Rising Star Racing drivers, as Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing driver Josef Newgarden is set to start the 110-lap Firestone Grand Prix race from the eleventh row of the grid.

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