Team Pelfrey’s Four Drivers All Claim Top-10 Results
 April 13, 2015| 
  • Team News
New Orleans, La. – Some dramatic weather caused a variety of disruptions when the Verizon IndyCar Series and two steps on the Mazda Road to Indy development ladder made their debut at NOLA Motorsports Park, but all four of Team Pelfrey’s charges in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda returned home with a top-10 finish to their names.

Race One was held under increasingly threatening skies but in dry conditions on Saturday afternoon. Luke Gabin was Team Pelfrey’s best finisher, starting ninth and finishing eighth, although that tells only part of the story. The Australian slipped back to 11th in mid-race, then profited when two cars made contact on the final lap and teammate Garth Rickards, running 10th, also was forced off-track to avoid the incident. Ayle Agren and Nikita Lastochkin completed the top 10.

Sunday’s Race Two was held in heavy rain and again saw the Team Pelfrey contingent embroiled in drama. Rickards looked set for a top-five finish until making a mistake with three laps remaining, dropping him back to eighth, while Agren, Lastochkin and Gabin (right) all suffered spins which restricted them to 11th, 12th and 14th, respectively.

The entire Mazda Road to Indy, comprising USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights will return to action, once again in support of the Verizon IndyCar Series, in two weeks’ time, April 24-26, at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.

WHAT THE DRIVERS SAID:
Ayla Agren (#81 Team Pelfrey/Energima/Women’s Sports Foundation Van Diemen-Mazda) – Race One, started 11th, finished ninth; Race Two, started 12th, finished 11th: “We made pretty good improvements through the event, so I’m happy we made progress. We still have some work to do, but with another P10 finish we are getting closer. For Race Two the rain we had been expecting finally fell, and it was a good experience to drive on a fully wet track. I’m looking forward to be back on track at Barber in two weeks with Team Pelfrey in the #81 car!”

Luke Gabin (#82 Team Pelfrey/MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Van Diemen-Mazda) - Race One, started ninth, finished eighth; Race Two, started ninth, finished 14th: “A really good weekend for me at NOLA. Our progression  was great. We are now really close to the top five. We still have to iron out a few issues that we faced during the races but overall I'm extremely pleased with our pace throughout the weekend.”

Garth Rickards (#83 Team Pelfrey/Rahal Automotive Group/Snap 21 Van Diemen-Mazda) – Race One, started 12th, finished 11th; Race Two, started sixth, finished eighth: “It was a very interesting weekend to say the least. It took longer than we liked to get the car dialed in to where I like it. To go along with that the track conditions were different every time we went out. Overall we found some good pace and I had strong runs in both races. Race One we were going to have a top-10 but I was forced to take action on avoiding an incident right in front of me and it bumped me back to 11th. The good news was that my fast lap moved me up to sixth for Race Two. I made it up to fourth in my first full rain race before I made a rookie mistake with about three laps to go and finished eighth. Overall I just need to qualify better and put a full race together. My guys deserve a good result and I'm determined to be at the front.”

ABOUT TEAM PELFREY:
Dale Pelfrey’s race team, based in Palmetto, Fla., is built upon the same principles he used more than 35 years ago when establishing his business career – hire the best, acquire the best and expect the best in order to achieve the most. After fielding cars in the IndyCar Series from 1998 until 2000, Team Pelfrey was reformed in 2011, winning on its Pro Mazda debut and going on to earn the Team Championship as well as second and third in the drivers’ title-chase with Connor De Phillippi and Nick Andries. Team Pelfrey went one better in 2012, guiding Jack Hawksworth to the Drivers’ Championship and earning a second successive Team Championship. An expansion into the F1600 Championship Series for 2014 saw Ayla Agren, Garth Rickards and Augie Lerch secure the top three positions in the points table. The 2015 season also marks Team Pelfrey’s debut in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda.
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