A Mixed Bag For American Hopefuls
Baltimore, Maryland, September 3 — One junior formula series race took place today, and it was an immediate lost cause for all three young American drivers in the Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda field.
Spencer Pigot (8) started second, but was involved in a first lap pileup.
Spencer Pigot (7th in the American Driver Ranking) started on the outside of the front row. Zach Veach (ranked 9th) lined up in the inside of the second row while Timmy Megenbier started seventh. All three of their races were ruined by the time they got to the first turn after the green flag flew.
"I was going alongside the leader on the outside braking for one," Pigot said. "He went a bit wide for the apex so I was going to cut down underneath. I got hit from behind. I think my teammate got hit by someone else and he hit me. So it was bit of a cluster. We all got stuck in turn one. It was a complete roadblock."
Megenbier was out on the spot while Pigot and Veach re-entered the race, albeit a couple of laps down despite the full course yellow. However, by finishing the race, they were able to record times that would set the field for Sunday's contest. Pigot will start on the pole while Veach will start fifth. Megenbier, with no laps run, will start at the back amongst the other drivers who got knocked out of the race.
"Eventually we got back going," Pigot said. "That was the only good news. I got pole for tomorrow."
Petri Suvanto clinched the championship with a second place finish, thus rendering the final race of the season a race for victory instead of points.
"That was the attitude for today as well," Pigot said. "We were second in points, quite a big gap to first, so we had no choice but to win."
Pigot's day did end nicely when it was announced he was one of three drivers selected for the 2011 Team USA Scholarship. He is only the third driver to be named for a second time.
"Being selected for Team USA for a second year is a great honor, and I'm really looking forward to going back to England," he said.
The other two winners are Neil Alberico competing in British Formula Ford and Trent Hindman (ranked 15th) competing in BFGoodrich Skip Barber National Championship Powered by Mazda and the Ontario F1600 Challenge.
Conor Daly will start from the pole in the Indy Lights race.
Meanwhile, in qualifying action today, Conor Daly (ranked 4th) secured the pole for the Firestone Indy Lights race tomorrow. The fastest lap was actually recorded by Gustavo Yacaman, but it was disqualified because he did it while passing a yellow flag zone.
Josef Newgarden (ranked 2nd) started the weekend out in grand style setting the fastest lap in the first practice session. But, it went downhill from there, and after crashing twice during qualifying causing black flags, all his times were voided. Thus, he will be starting at the back of the field.
The Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear decided there was not enough practice time on the new circuit, so they used the qualifying session for another practice session. The grid for Sunday's race was set using the point standings. Therefore, Connor De Phillippi (ranked 3rd) starts second, Nick Andries (ranked 10th) starts third, and Sage Karam (ranked 6th) starts fifth.
Copyright © 2011 by Russell Jaslow and American Driver Ranking. All Rights Reserved.