Mission Accomplished as Pigot Clinches Championship
 August 27, 2014| 
  • Team News
SONOMA, Calif. – After riding an emotional roller-coaster of epic proportions during last weekend’s final two rounds of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires at Sonoma Raceway, Spencer Pigot emerged as a deserving series champion on Saturday. 

The 20-year-old from Orlando, Fla., received by far the loudest ovation during the following evening’s season-closing banquet which featured almost 300 guests representing all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy – USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights – when he walked to the stage to accept the champion’s trophy and a check for almost $590,000 from Mazda’s Director of Motorsports, John Doonan, to  assist in graduation to Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires in 2015.

Pigot had a solitary goal when he traveled to Sonoma Raceway – to do what was required to win the season-long battle. All seemed to be going to plan during Round 13 on Friday afternoon when, after qualifying second, he stalked title rival Scott Hargrove for the first couple of laps, setting what was to stand as the fastest lap of the race, then passed him cleanly for the lead on Lap 3. Moments later, Pigot found himself bundled off the track at Turn One. He resumed briefly, but his car – and more particularly the engine – had received terminal damage. His race was over.

“It was a huge hit to our championship,” said Pigot. “We lost a lot of points.”

Indeed, his 19-point advantage entering the weekend had turned into a two-point deficit. The scenario for Round 14 was clear: It was winner take all.

Incredibly, after tucking in behind Hargrove at Turn One, Pigot once again was sent into a spin due to contact from behind. Fortunately, on this occasion, his car was undamaged and he rejoined at the back of the pack in 18th, but his title aspirations seemed all but over. Undeterred, Pigot produced a stunning comeback drive to rise from 18th to fifth, then profited from a slice of good fortune when his rival’s car suffered a mechanical problem in the closing stages. 

“It was all on the line in Race Two and I had to beat Scott,” related Pigot. “It's not how we wanted to be approaching the final race but that's the situation we were in. It went from bad to worse at the start, taken out again in Turn One. Luckily no damage this time, just forced into a spin. I couldn't believe it. I stayed as calm as I could and worked my way back through the pack. When I saw Scott slowing I was shocked. I was able to pass him a few corners later, even though I had to do it via the dirt and jumping over curbs.”

That one final hurdle safely completed, Pigot cruised home to the finish and an emotional greeting from his family, friends and many supporters.

“It was a great moment for me,” he said. “The biggest accomplishment of my career so far. Juncos Racing worked so hard for me this year and I'm happy I could give them the championship they deserve. I'm very excited for next season and to drive the new Indy Lights car. I can't thank Mazda and their scholarship program enough for the opportunity to move up. Also my sponsors, Doug Mockett & Company, Vitamin-DPro App, Rising Star Racing, California Scents, The Stutz, OMP America, and RaceLite Protection for making this year possible.”

ABOUT SPENCER PIGOT:
Spencer Pigot, 20, won numerous state and national karting championships before moving to cars in 2009. He won the 2010 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Powered by Mazda, earning a MAZDASPEED Driver Development scholarship to contest the 2011 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. After finishing second with three wins and four poles to his name, Pigot dominated the 2012 Cooper Tires Winterfest, winning five of six races, and once again took second in the “regular season” winning eight of the 14 races. Pigot was awarded Team USA Scholarships both in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and this year has been invited to join the new Rising Star Racing program, also designed to help fund deserving young drivers. His goal is to compete in the Verizon IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500. Follow Spencer at www.spencerpigot.com or on Facebook (Spencer Pigot Racing) and Twitter (@spencerpigot).
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