CLEARWATER, Fla. – Talented young drivers Ayla Agren, Augie Lerch and Garth Rickards will carry the torch for Team Pelfrey as the Florida-based organization expands this year into the F1600 Championship Series.
The trio will drive identical Mygale-Honda F1600 cars in the 14-race series which begins April 11-13 at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga.
Originally from Slemmestad, Norway, Agren enjoyed a successful karting career in Europe before setting her sights on North America. She made the step to the Skip Barber Racing Series in 2012, claiming four podium finishes, and last year finished fourth in the F1600 Championship Series with nine top-five finishes and two pole positions to her credit.
“I am very excited and honored to work with Team Pelfrey this year,” said Agren. “As this will be my second year working together with some of the mechanics and engineers, I think we can carry the momentum from last year and combine this with the experience and success Team Pelfrey had in Pro Mazda. We are all working toward the same goal, and I just can’t wait for this season to start.”
Lerch, from Tucson, Ariz., is the youngest member of the team at just 17 years of age. He, too, racked up many successes in karting, and while he became one of the youngest drivers ever to complete the Skip Barber Advanced School of Driving course in 2009, at age 12, this year will mark his initial foray into auto racing.
“I’m excited to step into the F1600 car with Team Pelfrey,” said Lerch. “Even though it is my first season in this car, my goals are set high for the 2014 season. I will be in good hands with Team Pelfrey, I also have expectations for myself which include staying in the best condition for racing, staying motivated and always striving to run competitively.”
Rickards, 21, from Mechanicsburg, Pa., is the least experienced of the trio, having entered his first automotive competition, a local autocross event, in 2012, but is working hard to make up for lost time. He finished seventh in the 2013 Skip Barber Racing Series and recently notched his first race victory at Florida’s Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“I’m really excited to be joining Team Pelfrey and the Mygale Honda effort for the 2014 F1600 Championship Series,” said Rickards, “Team Pelfrey is a very professional team and I think we are going to be the team to beat. I am looking forward to the season opener at Road Atlanta in April.”
Veteran driver Anders Krohn, whose CoForce International management company will play an integral role along with Team Pelfrey in developing the young talents, also has high expectations.
“Having Augie, Ayla and Garth on the team for the upcoming season makes me very confident we’ll be able to fight for race wins and the championship,” said Krohn. “The fact that they all come from slightly different backgrounds with different driving styles will only strengthen the program as it will allow each of them to learn from each other.”