Pigot Salvages Podium Spot in First USF2000 Race
Lexington, Ohio, August 6 — The Mid-Ohio weekend started out great for Spencer Pigot (9th in the American Driver Ranking). He was fastest in the first practice session on Friday.
Spencer Pigot started third and finished third.
However, other drivers improved more than Pigot did, and he found himself second in the second practice session. By the time qualifying was run this morning, he was third fastest, with a time of 1:22.783 around the 2.258-mile circuit, putting him on the inside of the second row.
Times in the qualifying session were barely quicker for some than Friday's practice, and even slower for a few drivers.
"In the morning [qualifying session] it was quite slippery," Pigot explained. "We were the first ones out, so we were cleaning up the track."
At the start of the mid-day timed race (which turned into 20 laps), Pigot pulled alongside Wayne Boyd, as polesitter, Petri Suvanto, grabbed the lead. The start takes place on the backstraight, thus making Turn 4 heading into the esses the first green flag turn.
"On the start, me and Wayne went side by side," Pigot said. "I had to let him go. He was quicker on cold tires."
That was essentially the race. Suvanto, Boyd, Pigot, and eventually Megenbier spread out from each other as they pulled away from the rest of the field. The only temporary excitement occurred when Suvanto was overcautious in lapped traffic. They finished in that order.
Zach Veach fell from fourth to seventh at the start, but worked his way up to fifth.
Meanwhile, fellow American, and Pigot's teammate, Zach Veach (ranked 7th) had a bit more excitement. Veach started alongside Pigot on the outside of the second row, but lost three positions immediately after the green flag flew before they even made it to the esses.
"A car got underneath me and he had brake lock up problems," Veach said. "I felt it was better to finish seventh than not at all."
He quickly got one position back, and then started hounding Juan Piedrahita, who was clearly holding Veach up. At one point Matthew DiLeo got into the fun, and he and Veach swapped positions twice on the sixth lap. Then, once again, Veach worked on Piedrahita.
"Definitely was holding me up," Veach said. "Once I got by him, I was able to take off, but by then, the field was gone."
After a few attempts, Veach got Piedrahita by diving down the inside, outbraking his competitor going into the esses on the seventh lap. Veach easily pulled away to finish fifth.
The grid for the second USF2000 race is set with the fastest laps in today's race. Thus, Pigot will start second thanks to a 1:22.424 lap.
"We need to spend some time in the engineering room tonight," Pigot said. "Hopefully, it will pay off tomorrow. Starting second tomorrow, we'll see what we can do on the start. This is a pretty difficult place to pass."
Copyright © 2011 by Russell Jaslow and American Driver Ranking. All Rights Reserved.