Pigot and Brabham Share Cooper Tires Winterfest Race Wins at Sebring
 February 7, 2012| 
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Pigot holds four-point lead as series heads to Palm Beach International Raceway 

SEBRING, FLA. – Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing teammates Spencer Pigot and Matthew Brabham shared the victory spoils during today’s pair of Cooper Tires USF2000 Winterfest Championship races at Sebring International Raceway. Pigot holds a slender four-point lead, by virtue of his race win yesterday, as the teams head to Palm Beach International Raceway for another trio of races this coming weekend.

Both races today were held in tricky, damp conditions, with rain threatening but with all cars remaining on slick Cooper tires. Trent Hindman, driving a third Cape Motorsports Van Diemen-Mazda, started from the pole in this afternoon’s first of two 12-lap races but could do nothing to hold a determined Pigot behind him as the 18-year-old from Orlando, Fla., swept around the outside line to grasp the advantage in Turn One and stretched his lead to over two seconds. After an intense duel with Hindman, Brabham dived through into second place at Turn One on Lap 5, then set his sights on the leader.

By Lap 8, the two were together. Pigot edged away again as the light drizzle intensified, before making a mistake on the final lap and allowing Brabham to challenge him into Turn 15. The pair raced onto the back straightaway in side-by-side formation, but Pigot kept his cool – and the lead – to take the checkered flag merely 0.079s ahead of his rival. Hindman held onto third, although he, too, came under pressure at the end from a charging Thomas McGregor, 19, from Saskatoon, Canada, in the #7 Dairy Queen/Exclusive Management/Andretti Autosport entry.

Fellow Canadian Matthew Di Leo, from Barrie, Ont., finished a strong fifth in MDL Racing’s #54 Res Precast car, with fellow teenager Luigi Biangardi, from Chicago, Ill., rising from ninth to sixth in the #15 Gulfstream Properties/Inject-it.com/Slick Locks car of ArmsUp Motorsports.

Brabham set the fastest race lap to claim the pole position for the third and final race, but he, like Hindman a couple of hours earlier, was unable to prevent Pigot from driving around the outside to take the lead in Turn One. Undeterred, Brabham fought back later in the lap to regain the advantage.

Brabham, 17, who was born in Florida but raised in Surfers Paradise, Australia, then put his head down, turned a string of fastest laps and eventually took the flag 2.502 seconds clear of Pigot to secure his first race win on American soil.

Hindman, 16, from Wayside, N.J., put Pigot under intense pressure through the middle of the race before settling for his third straight third-place finish. 

Di Leo finished fourth ahead of Shelby Blackstock, who improved with every race aboard the #8 Starstruck/Andretti Autosport car.

Paul Alspach, 18, from Fogelsville, Pa., claimed the National Class spoils in both of today’s races, driving the #97 Formula Enterprises Van Diemen-Mazda for Robinson Motor Sports/Bertil Roos Racing School.

Spencer Pigot, #2 Team Pelfrey/E-merging Technologies/Parathyroid.com/California Scents/Mazda/Cooper Tires: “It was a good day here at Sebring. I started the day off with a win in the second race and it was a really good race for me. It was very close with Matt [Brabham] towards the end. After that, we had to get right back into race mode for Race 3. I started third and was able to briefly get the lead at the start. It was a good race and I was in second the whole time, but my car really came in towards the end so I wish there had been a couple of more laps. In all, it was a really good couple of days for me.”

Matthew Brabham, #83 DTE Group/Ace Kangan Institute/Repco/Aviation Components/Australia Wide:  “Today was fantastic. It was very interesting throughout the day with the changing weather conditions. It really threw a mix into the situation and provided a little bit more entertainment for the crowd and for us as well. To come away with a win in the last race is absolutely fantastic. I can’t describe the feeling. It definitely makes a great start to the season and caps off all the testing we have been doing and all the hard work the team has been doing. In the last race, Spencer [Pigot] and I had a dice at the start and that was pretty hairy. Other than that, it was just a really long race for me out in front. In the other races, I was dicing and fighting and they felt like five-minute races. This race felt like three hours and I was out there forever waiting for the checkered flag to come out! Other than that, it was fantastic and I am very pleased.”

Trent Hindman, #3 Premier Woodcraft/Zydro+/DFL Construction/RaceLite Protection/Skip Barber Racing School/Sparco:  “I am definitely happy with the first races of the season and three third-place finishes. You always want to be on the top step of the podium but still I am just super-happy for the whole team. We have to keep working and, hopefully, by the time the official season comes around, I will be on the top step of the podium. I think it is just a matter of time. I have to give a big thanks to everyone at Cape because without them, I wouldn’t even be close to where I am now.”

Paul Alspach, #97 Robinson Motor Sports/Bertil Roos Racing School:  “This is an extremely bumpy track and any bit of rain makes a huge difference, whether it is just a little sprinkle or an absolute downpour. I have only been to Sebring twice before and once in this car. This is only my second time in this car, so it was interesting. Mark Eaton on my race team really knows a lot about this track and what to do, when to do it and how to adjust and he really gave me great insight. The whole team did a great job in preparing the car. I have to give a lot of credit to Bertil Roos Driving School. They really know how to prepare a driver. On the wins, awesome. The second one was little unexpected, but awesome.”

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