Indianapolis, IN – Team Pelfrey, with Juan Piedrahita battled adversity all weekend long
after a tough crash in qualifying on Saturday. The team was forced to forgo Race One due to repairs on the No. 2 Polipetrosur Team Pelfrey Mazda, but battled back and ended up with a fifth-place finish at the end of the weekend.
Piedrahita’s practice result of fifth would be the best of the single car Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires entries, showing the Pelfrey-power speed and precision. After the accident in qualifying, the team worked all day and night to repair the near-terminal damage to the Team Pelfrey Mazda. The signature yellow car made the grid for Qualifying for Race two, where the 24-year-old Colombian set a fast lap of 1 minute 15.389 seconds which was fast enough for the fifth starting position.
The drop of the green flag and the dash into the sharp right-hand turn one saw Piedrahita make safe moves to avoid contact and maintain his quick pace. By the end of Lap 1, he claimed the seventh spot and began to settle into the 35-lap contest. With consistency and poise, he built his gap from the cars behind and was gaining on sixth place, Neil Alberico. On Lap 21, Piedrahita passed Colton Herta for sixth place as his car improved with warmer temperatures, setting his fastest lap of the race on Lap 33.
On the last lap, Piedrahita took over fifth place, securing his highest finish of the 2017 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Season. With the road course contest now in the team’s rear view mirror, Team Pelfrey will now prepare for the season’s most prestigious race, the Freedom 100.
You can watch the Freedom 100 live on NBCSN with coverage beginning at 12pm ET. Before the 50-lap race around the 2.5-mile oval, keep up to date with Team Pelfrey on social media by following @TeamPelfrey.
Juan Piedrahita (No. 2 Polipetrosur Team Pelfrey Mazda): “We went out for the second qualifying session not really knowing what to expect. The track changed a lot so I think it wasn’t quite an optimal setup but we came away with a solid fifth starting spot. During the race, to be honest with you, I was too conservative during the start because I just didn’t want to make any mistakes. I stayed with the rest of the pack though and had a solid finish. The car was great and to come home with a fifth-place finish is good momentum for us going into the Freedom 100.”