SEBRING, Fla. — Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing teammates Spencer Pigot and Matthew Brabham shared the victory spoils during Tuesday’s pair of Cooper Tires USF2000 Winterfest Championship races at Sebring Int’l Raceway.
Pigot holds a slender four-point lead, by virtue of his race win yesterday, as the teams head to Palm Beach Int’l Raceway for another trio of races this coming weekend.
Both races today were held in tricky, damp conditions, with rain threatening but with all cars remaining on slick Cooper tires. Trent Hindman, driving a third Cape Motorsports Van Diemen-Mazda, started from the pole in this afternoon’s first of two 12-lap races but could do nothing to hold a determined Pigot behind him as the 18-year-old from Orlando, Fla., swept around the outside line to grasp the advantage in Turn One and stretched his lead to over two seconds.
After an intense duel with Hindman, Brabham dived through into second place at Turn One on Lap 5, then set his sights on the leader.
By Lap 8, the two were together. Pigot edged away again as the light drizzle intensified, before making a mistake on the final lap and allowing Brabham to challenge him into Turn 15. The pair raced onto the back straightaway in side-by-side formation, but Pigot kept his cool — and the lead — to take the checkered flag merely 0.079 seconds ahead of his rival. Hindman held onto third, although he, too, came under pressure at the end from a charging Thomas McGregor, 19, from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in the No. 7 Dairy Queen/Exclusive Management/Andretti Autosport entry.
Fellow Canadian Matthew Di Leo, from Barrie, Ontario, finished a strong fifth in MDL Racing’s No. 54 Res Precast car, with fellow teenager Luigi Biangardi, from Chicago, Ill., rising from ninth to sixth in the No. 15 Gulfstream Properties/Inject-it.com/Slick Locks car of ArmsUp Motorsports.
Brabham set the fastest race lap to claim the pole position for the third and final race, but he, like Hindman a couple of hours earlier, was unable to prevent Pigot from driving around the outside to take the lead in Turn One. Undeterred, Brabham fought back later in the lap to regain the advantage.
Brabham, 17, who was born in Florida but raised in Surfers Paradise, Australia, then put his head down, turned a string of fastest laps and eventually took the flag 2.502 seconds clear of Pigot to secure his first race win on American soil.
Hindman, 16, from Wayside, N.J., put Pigot under intense pressure through the middle of the race before settling for his third straight third-place finish.
Di Leo finished fourth ahead of Shelby Blackstock, who improved with every race aboard the No. 8 Starstruck/Andretti Autosport car.
Paul Alsbach, 18, from Fogelsville, Pa., claimed the National Class spoils in both races, driving the No. 97 Formula Enterprises Van Diemen-Mazda for Robinson Motor Sports/Bertil Roos Racing School.BREAKING NEWS: SPEED SPORT is back in print with a new monthly format! Subscribe for just $24.95. Special offer for former subscribers.