Indianapolis, IN – Team Pelfrey paired with the Colombian-native Juan Piedrahita battled unfavorable weather conditions as the team qualified 10th for the Freedom 100 hosted at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. As the team transitioned into the 40-lap feature on Friday, Piedrahita battled his way to an eighth-place finish to conclude round seven of the 2017 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Season.
Due to poor weather conditions, practice was canceled Thursday morning forcing the team to the prepare the signature yellow Mazda for qualifying in a short 20-minute practice session. Piedrahita and the team would use the session to focus strictly on trimming the No. 2 Polipetrosur Team Pelfrey Mazda as track conditions were constantly changing, allowing the 24-year-old to secure a top-ten starting position for the nationally televised feature event on Friday.
Piedrahita had high expectations after showcasing an impressive performance in the 2016 Freedom 100 where he was battling for the lead on a late-race restart, however was brake-checked with a half-mile to the checkered flag causing him to lose multiple track positions collecting an eighth-place result. The Colombian was eager to have his chance at victory once again as the pack of 14 Mazda powered engines roared down the 2.5-mile oval commencing the largest race of the year starting 10th.
At the start, Piedrahita showed quick pace collecting two positions coming into Turn 2 where he avoided contact between Andretti Autosport teammates Colton Herta and Ryan Norman. At the first and only single-file restart on Lap 5, Piedrahita slotted into sixth and began to settle into the remainder of the contest.
On Lap 20, Piedrahita found himself slowly losing momentum due to no fault of the team, however he continued to drive a clean and safe race piloting the No. 2 car to a top-eight result in the most prestigious race on the calendar year.
Catch Team Pelfrey at Road America June 24-25 as the battle for the championship continues, keep up with the action on social media by following @TeamPelfrey. For media inquiries contact Chelsea Timmerman at CT@CoForce.com
Juan Piedrahita (No. 2 Polipetrosur Team Pelfrey Mazda): “We had a good start and were running with the lead pack for the first few laps, but I couldn’t make any moves or advance through the pack. It was very frustrating because it’s a problem that the team has no control over. I’m looking forward to the next race at Road America.”