Americans Pigot, Alberico and Eidson Lead the Way to Indy
 May 6, 2015| 
  • Team News
All Three Levels of the Mazda Road to Indy Will Support the Grand Prix of Indianapolis

– No fewer than 16 different nationalities will be represented when all three levels of the acclaimed Mazda Road to Indy development ladder continue their campaigns this week in support of the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis. Perhaps it is appropriate as they head for the premier open-wheel auto racing venue in North America that home-grown drivers currently hold the points lead in all three championships.

Spencer Pigot, who hails from Orlando, Fla., but now makes his home in Indianapolis, took control of the top-tier Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires title-chase by virtue of a commanding double victory two weeks ago at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. Neil Alberico, from Los Gatos, Calif., furthered his claim to the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires by winning also at Barber, while Jake Eidson, from Littleton, Colo., heads the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda standings on the heels of podium finishes in each of the six races held to date.

Coincidentally, fellow rising American star and 2011 Indy Lights champion Josef Newgarden broke through in Alabama by securing his first-ever Verizon IndyCar Series victory for Indianapolis-based CFH Racing. All four drivers will be looking toward the top step of the podium again this weekend at the 2.439-mile road circuit which uses portions of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.

The Mazda Road to Indy is a proven driver development “ladder” which guides drivers all the way from the grassroots of the sport to the Verizon IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500, with scholarship packages to assist in the graduation between each level.

Consistent Pace the Key for USF2000 Points Leader Jake Eidson
The old adage “To finish first, first you have to finish” has been followed to a tee by championship leader Eidson. The youngster from Littleton, Colo., previously a champion in both the Skip Barber Racing Series and the F1600 Championship Series, won the opening two races of the season on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., and since then has notched a quartet of third-place finishes to ensure he holds the series points lead prior to the two 30-minute races which will comprise the Mazda USF2000 Grand Prix of Indianapolis.

The Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing pair of Nico Jamin, from Rouen, France, and Aaron Telitz, from Birchwood, Wis., have combined to win three of the last four races, but haven’t been able to match Eidson’s consistency. They currently trail by 11 and 21 points, respectively.

Fourth place in the standings is held by the best-placed rookie, Anthony Martin, from Perth, Western Australia. The Aussie, whose Van Diemen-Mazda is fielded by veteran IndyCar crew chief/team manager John Cummiskey, has impressed with a handful of top-five runs, capped by a fine second last time out in the rain at Barber Motorsports Park.

Fellow rookie Parker Thompson, from Red Deer, Alb., Canada, also has impressed with a sequence of three top-five finishes for JDC MotorSports, and seems to be improving with every outing under the expert guidance of 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice.

Others to watch this week include another young Australian, Luke Gabin (Team Pelfrey), who has moved into USF2000 on the strength of a MAZDASPEED scholarship after winning the 2014 Skip Barber Racing Championship Shootout, and Noblesville, Ind., native Sam Chastain, who is making his USF2000 debut with JDC MotorSports after showing well in last year’s F1600 Championship series.

After two 60-minute test sessions today, the USF2000 contingent will benefit from another pair of 30-minute practice periods tomorrow, May 7. Qualifying will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, May 8, followed by the first of two races at 1:00 p.m. Race Two will start at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 9. All times are local. Live timing and commentary for all sessions will be available on the new Mazda Road to Indy App and at
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