Rising Star Racing Driver Spencer Pigot Makes Race Winning Start to Winterfest
 February 23, 2014| 
  • Team News

Spencer Pigot atop the Pro Mazda podium at NOLA

New Orleans, La. -  No matter if it is a championship or a race, getting off to a fast start can be key, and Rising Star Racing driver Spencer Pigot did exactly that this week when he won the opening race of the 2014 Cooper Tires Winterfest for Pro Mazda at NOLA Motorsports Park on Friday.

The 20-year-old pilot kept up his momentum on Saturday, recovering from a tough race start to move up from sixth to finish second in race two after making a last-lap pass for the runner-up spot. The young driver, who will race for Juncos Racing in the full 2014 Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, also set the fastest race lap in both races after having qualified on pole for the opening race.

“Yesterday was great- I had a clean start and was able to get out front and just set the pace,” said Pigot, who now holds the points lead in the Winterfest championship. “Today, we didn’t get the best start and I was sixth early on. But the Juncos guys did a great job with the car and I was able to just keep moving up. It was a tough track to make passes on, but the car gave me a lot of confidence and I was able to squeeze up to second on the last lap. I’m really excited and already looking forward to Barber.”

For fellow Rising Star Racing driver Neil Alberico, the NOLA event marked the first time back in a Pro Mazda machine after his exploits in New Zealand as he looked to make a quick adaptation back to racing in the States.

“The Pro Mazda car is totally different, with different tires and different levels of downforce, so I had to adjust my approach to driving it compared to what I raced in New Zealand,” said Alberico after his first laps back in the car. “But it only took one session to feel right back at home with the Pro Mazda.”

While a mechanical set back early in the event meant that the weekend delivered less compelling fortunes for the California native, Alberico was quick to point out the positives that emerged in his first Pro Mazda outing with the Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing squad.

“We had debris in the fuel cell and it was clogging the injectors so we didn’t have the speed that we should have in qualifying,” said Alberico. “It wasn’t coming up on data so it was a challenge to diagnose and sort. But at the end of the day, Winterfest is a practice for the season championship and it was a good experience to work through how the team solved the problem. We were all set for the second race, and I was able to learn a lot about the Cooper tires, which kept getting faster through the race.  The main thing is for us to just keep learning, and hopefully that will help bring some better results at Barber.”

Friday and Saturday’s races marked the first two rounds of a four round Winterfest Championship, which will now move to Barber Motorsports Park for the final two races on February 25-26. Follow www.twitter.com/risingstarrcng for updates.

2014 Cooper Tires Winterfest Championship:
Round 1 - NOLA Motorsports Park, February 21

Spencer Pigot - 1st
Neil Alberico - 13th

Round 2 - NOLA Motorsports Park, February 22
Spencer Pigot - 2nd
Neil Alberico - 9th

Up next: Barber Motorsports Park, February 25-26, Rounds 3 & 4

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