Leeds, Ala. (April 22, 2018) – After a weekend filled with drama, intense competition and diverse weather and track conditions, the Team Pelfrey Pro Mazda Championship driver trio of Rafael “Rafa” Martins, Andres Gutierrez and Sting Ray Robb collected consistent finishes in Rounds Three and Four of the 2018 Pro Mazda Championship at Barber Motorsports Park.
Pro Mazda rookie Gutierrez led the team’s first laps of the 2018 season in stunning fashion during Race Two, recording 11 laps led in challenging and varying conditions.
Unfortunately, as the weather took a turn for the worse, an off in Turn 8 with five laps to go would end his opportunity at a first career win. He would recover to finish seventh. Martins and Robb would both finish in the top-ten in both races, but the Pelfrey trio are motivatedand poised for a standout weekend as they head to the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May.
After the weekend in Alabama, Team Pelfrey sits third in the Pro Mazda Team Championship standings. In the drivers championship, Robb currently sits sixth, followed by Gutierrez in eighth and Martins in 11th.
“This weekend at Barber showed that we have the best team, of that I have no doubts," said Jonny Baker, general manager of Team Pelfrey.
"The guys have worked unbelievably hard since St. Petersburg, prepping and developing the cars and working to improve in all departments. Our pit stops in qualifying were incredible and seeing the drivers all invested and working to be the best they can be is very rewarding to watch. The changes made by Thomas Knapp prior to the start of the second race gave us the best cars out there in changing conditions and Andres duly delivered a remarkable drive. He was unfortunate to lose out when the rain came down, but he can be very proud of himself. Any of our three drivers can win races, and that’s what we’re looking forward to doing.”
Andres Gutierrez (No. 81 Prisma Team Pelfrey Pro Mazda)
“I think this was the best race of my career. I drove an amazing race from sixth to first in the rain in the first three laps! I’d like to thank everyone at Team Pelfrey for the set-up and I think we can only learn from this. I think my performance was perfect, it just was with the unfortunate changing conditions, it was hard for me to judge from the cockpit, so I just came into Turn 8 and slid off the track immediately, there was nothing I could have done, I was just a victim of the conditions. I think that after this, we can learn from this and I’m ready to re-group and get ready for Indianapolis.”
Rafael "Rafa" Martins (No. 80 Gap Guard / Applebee's Team Pelfrey Pro Mazda)
Qualifying One: 8th
Qualifying Two: 5th
Race One: 6th
Race Two: 8th
“I think the start of Race Two was good, the pace was good, and then it started to rain a bit harder and I just didn’t trust myself, the car mostly. Then, when I finally got to the pace the rest of the field was running, it was too late. I made a little mistake and ended up in eighth. This race definitely wasn’t good, but this weekend overall was very positive, we were working really well together. I think that that was a huge positive, but we still have so much potential and we didn’t show our full potential this weekend, we made a big step from St. Petersburg to Barber, but I’m looking forward to the Indianapolis Grand Prix weekend and keeping our momentum going.”
Sting Ray Robb (No. 82 Trademark Dental / Munk Family Dental / Intervention.com Team Pelfrey Pro Mazda)
Qualifying One: 11th
Qualifying Two: 10th
Race One: 9th
Race Two: 10th
“Race Two was devastating. We were looking forward to having a good race with the variable conditions. I think the team gave me a fairly good car, and I let them down. During the opening laps, I was closing in on Oliver Askew in the braking zone, then I locked up the brakes and spun. I’d rather have the ability to finish up a race after spinning out and not wrecking. It was a frustrating weekend for me, but I’m really looking forward to the Indianapolis Grand Prix weekend and hopefully doing better. Yesterday there were improvements that were made. I feel that I have gotten better with passing, definitely got some experience in, but like I said, Indy Grand Prix, that’s where we gotta look. I want to improve on everything going into Indy GP. There’s not much that we can’t work on. The team is fantastic. They’re always pushing us as hard as we can, it was heartbreaking watching today when Andres lost the lead in the closing laps, but hopefully, we can get him back up there on the podium for Indy.”