INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – ArmsUp Motorsports driver Luigi Biangardi raced to an 11th-place finish in the Cooper Tires Presents USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda event at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis. The event, run as part of the famed "Night Before the 500", marked Biangardi's oval debut. Starting from the 19th spot after a slide in qualifying Biangardi, in his No. 15 Inject-It/Gulfstream Properties/Slick Locks/Chicago Indoor Racing car, advanced eight positions to 11th during the 46-lap event.
Biangardi and his ArmsUp Motorsports crew were looking forward to the "Night Before the 500" event after a successful test at Lucas Oil Raceway earlier in the month of May. The official practice session proved the teams optimism as Biangardi clocked in the third fastest lap leading into qualifying.
For the "Night Before the 500" the USF2000 grid was set by a two-lap qualifying run, paying homage to the Indianapolis tradition of the four-lap average which sets the grid for the Indianapolis 500. Unfortunately for Biangardi there was no opportunity to wave off his qualifying run. A slide on his opening lap on the exit of Turn Four hurt both qualifying laps which put Biangardi in the 19th spot for the race later in the evening.
The Chicago native went into the race knowing that he had a good racecar and was determined to move up the order. Circumstances would make the charge to the front even more difficult. As the green flag fell a multicar accident formed between Turns One and Two. In order to avoid contact, Biangardi dove to the infield grass. While escaping contact the off-road excursion knocked the alignment off on the suspension of his Mazda-powered Van Diemen. The 15-year-old Biangardi pushed on despite the ill-handling effects created by the off-course trip finishing a solid 11th place.
"Although I don't believe we showed the speed we were previously capable of, I'm happy we finished the race," Biangardi stated after the race. "The Inject-It/Gulfstream Properties/Slick Locks/Chicago Indoor Racing car crossed the stripe without a scratch on it, which is an achievement considering I needed to use the infield grass to avoid the six car pile-up in Turn Two on the second lap. This weekend will be logged as a really good learning experience on the ovals. Now I am looking forward to testing at Road America late June."
"It's a shame what happened in the race because I think we had a better car than what Luigi was able to show," ArmsUp owner Gregg Borland commented after the race. "We got a really good handle on the car in the final practice session. The small bobble hurt us in qualifying but he drove well in the race with a car that wasn't quite perfect, which is tough to do on an oval. Overall it was a successful oval debut. We kept the car out of the wall and picked up valuable points."
Biangardi now sits ninth in the USF2000 Championship standings a mere 22 markers out of fifth. The USF2000 series now goes on a two month hiatus until the opening weekend of August when the series resumes at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Television coverage of the USF2000 race at the 'Night Before the 500" will be shown during the Mazda Motorsports Hour on the Velocity Channel June, 30 at noon eastern time.
Formed in 1995, ArmsUp Motorsports is one of the premier SCCA Formula Continental race teams, winning the SCCA National Championship in 2011. Based in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin ArmsUp Motorsports is a full service prep shop for USF2000, Formula Continental, Formula Atlantic, and Vintage racing cars. For more information please visit the official ArmsUp website at www.ArmsUpMotorsports.com.