Andretti Autosport Winterfest Championship Release
 January 14, 2011| 
  • Team News
USF2000-news
ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT DOMINATES USF2000 WINTERFEST; VEACH CLINCHES CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Jan. 14, 2011) – Zach Veach, driver of the #7 Team Zakosi Data Backup car for Andretti Autosport, clinched the first-ever USF2000 Cooper Tires Winterfest championship title after winning two races and securing two additional podium finishes during the series, as well as three pole awards.

Veach’s teammate and newcomer Spencer Pigot took a second place finish in the championship with two race wins and two podium finishes during the Winterfest. Pigot, MAZDASPEED motorsports development driver and driver of the #8 Team Andretti Autosport car, also earned two pole positions throughout the series.

This championship win marks Andretti Autosport’s second USF2000 championship title in the span of one year. Andretti Autosport driver Sage Karam won the 2010 USF2000 driver championship title and, along with Veach, helped the team capture the team title. Karam has now advanced to the Star Mazda Championship series with Andretti Autosport as a part of INDYCAR’s ‘Mazda Road to Indy’ development program.

The Cooper Tires Winterfest, organized by the ‘Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda,’ took teams and drivers to Sebring International Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway for a two-event, five-race winter series.

Sanctioned by INDYCAR, the USF2000 National Championship, presented by Cooper Racing Tires and powered by Mazda, is one of two series part of both the INDYCAR’s ‘Mazda Road to Indy’ ladder system and the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development driver program. The 2011 USF2000 season will begin with a double-header at Sebring International Raceway on March 17.

For more information, please visit www.AndrettiAutosport.com or www.USF2000.com.

MICHAEL ANDRETTI, CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT:
“I’m really proud of the job Zach has done and the progress he has made since he’s joined the team. He’s such a great kid, and I’m so proud of both him and Spencer. I think Spencer is showing incredible promise for the future with the team. For it only being his first time in the car and then getting second in the championship, it’s pretty great. I’m very excited for the upcoming season in the USF2000 series.”

J-F THORMANN, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT:
“We’re very excited to have finished one-two in the championship. To have dominated with a total of five poles and four race wins was really exciting. Zach and Spencer did a marvelous job working together and working with the team to bring home the first Cooper Tires Winterfest championship and bring Andretti Autosport our second USF2000 championship. We’re looking forward to the full season and even better things to come.”

SPENCER PIGOT, DRIVER, #8 TEAM ANDRETTI AUTOSPORT CAR:
“It was good to end the Winterfest on a high note. It's been a great few events with Andretti Autosport. We struggled a bit during practice and the first race. We were able to make a few changes and fix the car for the final race to pull out a strong lead and win. A big thanks to everyone at Cooper Tires and Mazda. I'm really looking forward to getting into the full season in March."

ZACH VEACH, DRIVER, #7 TEAM ZAKOSI DATA BACKUP CAR:
“It's an honor to be the first champion in the USF2000 Cooper Tires Winterfest along with getting my first two wins in the series. I'm really excited to see what we can do with the Zakosi Data Backup car in the main season and go for that championship as well. We have some stuff to work on when we get home between now and the first in-season race at Sebring, but I'm really looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish. I can't thank my team, Andretti Autosport, enough for giving me a good car, my crew for working so hard and to Mazda and Cooper Tires for putting on this winter series."

About Spencer Pigot
Spencer Pigot, winner of the 2010 Skip Barber National title and Team USA Scholarship, is widely regarded as one of the rising stars in American formula car racing. The Windermere, Fla. native first came to the forefront in 2003, capturing his first karting state championship title at the age of 10. Earning his first national title one year later, Pigot rapidly became a presence in the national karting scene. Over the next four years, he added five more series titles and several prestigious race wins to his resume. In 2009, Pigot first got behind the wheel of a race car with an entry into selected races of the Skip Barber Regional series. As a 15-year-old rookie, he immediately impressed, scoring a victory at the famed Sebring International Raceway road course in only his second-ever Skip Barber race. Continuing his winning ways, the talented American won four of the six races that he contested in the Skip Barber Summer Series, finished on the podium in his Skip Barber National debut, and won his class in an SCCA Club Racing 13-hour endurance race at Virginia International Raceway. The 2009 season also brought a major win in the “Skip Barber Karting Shoot Out”. For more information, please visit www.SpencerPigot.com.

About Zach Veach
Zach “Ziggy” Veach is a 16-year-old autoracing driver who competes in INDYCAR’s ‘Mazda Road to Indy’ USF2000 National Championship Series for Andretti Autosport. In 2010, Veach was signed by Andretti Autosport, named one of CNN’s “Intriguing People” and was a semi-finalist for Sports Illustrated “Sports Kid of the Year” award. Veach began his racing career at age 12 in go-karts. It was in 2007, where Veach caught the eye of Dave Fisher, father of IZOD IndyCar Series team owner, Sarah Fisher. For the next two years Fisher [Dave] coached and developed Veach’s talent, as he progressed through karting and then to Formula BMW. In addition to his racing, Veach is an advocate for safer driving in conjunction with Oprah Winfrey’s “No Phone Zone” and is the national spokesperson for FocusDriven, an advocacy group for victims of motor vehicle crashes involving drivers using their cell phones. In 2010, Veach released his first published Droid application, urTXT, in the Marketplace for Droid, to help consumers avoid dangerous text messaging while driving. Veach has been a guest or profiled on a variety of national platforms such as, CNN’s Headline News, Oprah Radio’s The Gayle King Show, The Los Angeles Times and AOL, to name a few. The son of a national truck and tractor-pulling champion, Veach entered his sophomore year of high school this past fall and plans to release his first book, 99 THINGS TEENS WISH THEY KNEW BEFORE TURNING 16, this January 2011. For more information, please visit www.ZachVeach.com.

About Andretti Autosport
Based in Indianapolis and led by racing legend Michael Andretti, Andretti Autosport fields multiple entries in the IZOD IndyCar Series. Andretti Autosport also campaigns multiple cars in Firestone Indy Lights, the Star Mazda Championship and in the USF2000 National Championship. The company boasts three IZOD IndyCar Series championships (2004, 2005 and 2007), two Firestone Indy Lights titles (2008 and 2009), one USF2000 championship (2010) and has won the Indianapolis 500 twice (2005 and 2007). For more information, please visit www.AndrettiAutosport.com.

About the Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda
Many top drivers in the IZOD IndyCar Series and endurance sports car racing honed their skills in F2000, and the Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda is an important training ground for rising stars. The series, which debuted in 2010, is the revival of the very popular USF2000 series of 1990 through 2006. Sanctioned by the Indy Racing League, it is the first step on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder system, preceding Star Mazda and Firestone Indy Lights. It is also part of the prestigious MAZDASPEED Motorsports driver development program. The top driver in the series’ Championship class earns a scholarship package from Mazda valued at $350,000 to help him or her advance to Star Mazda the following season. USF2000 races are contested on road courses, street courses and ovals in order to give the series’ drivers experience on all the different types of tracks they will face as they proceed up the ladder. For more information visit www.USF2000.com.

About Zakosi Data Backup
Zakosi Data Backup is a national online backup company which offers fast, affordable, secure, managed and unmanaged online data backup to small to medium-sized businesses. Zakosi Online Backup restorations are three times faster than other solutions, according to independent testing laboratories. Zakosi serves as the primary sponsor of 16-year-old Andretti Autosport USF2000 driver Zach Veach. For more information, please visit www.zakosi.com.
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