St. Petersburg, Fla. - Team Pelfrey’s Indy Lights duo Juan Piedrahita, 24, and Pato O’Ward, 17, participated in Rounds 1 and 2 of the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg which officially kicked off the 2017 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Championship. O’Ward clinched his first podium as a rookie as Piedrahita showed tremendous pace throughout the double-header weekend.
The Columbian native, Piedrahita qualified third for race one Friday afternoon and teammate O’Ward qualified ninth. As race one commenced, Piedrahita was involved in an incident that required him to make an unexpected pit stop, ultimately putting him towards the back of the field where he finished fourteenth. O’Ward was able to charge through the field after the restart and battle past Kyle Kaiser of Juncos Racing for a fifth-place finish.
As the starting grid lined up for the final race of the weekend, the No. 3 Gap Guard/Team Pelfrey machine driven by O’Ward, found himself in fourth, as teammate Piedrahita slotted in behind Alberico in the eighth-position when the green flagged waved. The entire field put on an exciting show as there were multiple battles throughout the course of the 45-lap race. However, when the checkered flag fell, O’Ward had secured a thrilling third-place finish and Piedrahita rounded out the top-ten after an unfortunate spin saw him lose possession of a top five result.
Team Pelfrey IL takes to Barber Motorsports Park April 21-23 for Rounds 3 and 4 of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires 2017 season. Keep up with the action at @teampelfrey or by using the hashtag #PelfreyPower on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, or visit pelfreypower.com for more information.
Juan Piedrahita, No. 2: “"Overall I think it was a great start of the season for the team, we had the pace to be top-3 in almost every session, the car was fantastic. I made two mistakes trying to pass people. Congratulations to Pato for a great drive and I am looking forward to Barber."
Pato O’Ward, No. 3: “I am very satisfied with this weekend. It was my first weekend in an Indy Lights car and we ended on a great note. Got one top 5 and one podium and came out 3rd in the championship standings. The Pelfrey guys gave me a very competitive car and we kept showing very good speed every session! I am bummed in Q1 I had second secured, and was on a pole lap, but had a little mishap and hit the wall and got my fastest lap taken away so honestly that was the only bummer of the weekend and it was my fault. I’m excited to see what comes next and hope to be at Barber Motorsports Park.”