USF2000 - Pigot Takes Round 2 At Sebring


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Sebring, Mar. 17, 2012: Spencer Pigot pulled off an outside pass of Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing teammate Matthew Brabham following a full-course caution to ensure victory in the second round of the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda at Sebring International Raceway.

Brabham, 18, who started from the pole by virtue of setting fastest lap en route to victory in the March 15 season opener, took advantage of quick early laps to pull more than 3.5 seconds clear of Pigot in the opening stages. That lead evaporated in an instant, however, when the full-course caution flags waved after five laps because of two cars off-course on the 3.7-mile circuit.

"The race was very tough at the end but it was looking pretty good at the start," Brabham said. "I was out in front by quite a bit and was just pounding out the laps. I am disappointed how it finished, but Spencer was very, very good on the restart and managed to get me."

On the restart, Pigot drafted to the outside of his rival on the approach in to Turn 1 to edge past Brabham on the exit. Brabham remained glued to Pigot's gearbox, but the 18-year-old from Orlando, Fla., remained out in front when the caution flags waved again shortly afterward following a major pile-up in Turn 7 that eliminated several cars, including the third Cape Motorsports car of Trent Hindman who had driven from the back of the 35-car field to 13th in the opening stages.

"The race obviously ended up pretty well for me," Pigot said. "Matt was faster when we took the green (flag) so it was tough to keep up with him. I knew the restart was going to be my only chance to try for the win and I was able to get him on the outside of Turn One. Overall, it was a good weekend from where we started off yesterday. It is great to get a win when you are not really the fastest guy out there so it's pretty satisfying. A big thanks to Cape Motorsports, Team Pelfrey, Doug Mockett and all of my sponsors."

Roman Lagudi, 16, who was born in Sydney, Australia, and now lives in Las Vegas ran in third place throughout for Belardi Auto Racing, under pressure from the Res Precast/MDL Racing Van Diemen-Mazda of Matthew Di Leo.

Neil Alberico, from Los Gatos, Calif., rose from seventh on the grid to claim fifth for JDC MotorSports after a good battle with Chicago's Timmy Megenbier (Afterburner Autosport) and second-row starter Thomas McGregor from Saskatoon (Andretti Autosport) who slipped to eighth on the opening lap before moving to seventh ahead of Scott Anderson (Belardi Auto Racing).

One of the most impressive drives came from Luigi Biangardi (ArmsUp Motorsports). The 15-year-old from Chicago qualified on pole March 15 but made a tardy start and then was involved in a first-corner crash. Despite having to start the second race at the back of the field, the youngster fought his way all the way through to ninth at the checkered flag.

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