Team Pelfrey entered the Star Mazda Championship in 2011 and immediately found success, winning the team championship in their rookie year and narrowly missing the driver championship. This season, they brought three drivers to the fight including Petri Suvanto, the 2011 USF2000 Champion, and hot shoe Jack Hawksworth. Jack and Team Pelfrey walked away with both the 2012 Team and Driver Championship titles. In two short years, Team Pelfrey has established itself as the team beat in Star Mazda, now the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.
Headed into 2013, Team Pelfrey has been working hard to ensure a successful defense of their championships by signing one of the top 2012 USF2000 drivers, Spencer Pigot. It’s not really a surprise to see Spencer sign with the team. During the 2012 USF2000 season, Team Pelfrey sponsored Spencer’s ride with Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing in obvious effort to groom him for a Pro Mazda seat wtih the team. Spencer and his teammate Matthew Brabham battled each other, and no one else, for the championship all season long, with Brabham finally taking top honors on the last race weekend.
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“I’m really looking forward to the upcoming season with Team Pelfrey. Dale [Pelfrey] has supported me for the past year, so now to be able to drive for his team is another great opportunity. I can’t wait to get back on track and start working with the engineers to develop the car on Cooper Tires. It’s going to be a very tough year but I’m excited about the new challenges. With a great team behind me I’m confident we can fight for wins.” — Spencer Pigot, #81 Team Pelfrey
Since in 2013 the Pro Mazda Championship will move away from the Goodyear tires the Star Mazda series has used since it’s inception to tires provided by Cooper, a lot of the setup parameters for the cars will change. Team Pelfrey has also signed two new engineers, Stefan Dwornik and Darrell Soppe, to sort out the new data and tune the car to the new tires and prepare Spencer and his yet-to-be-announced teammate to defend their 2012 titles. Both Dwornick and Soppe have experience in IndyCar Series racing. Dwornick also has experience with several junior formulas including Indy Lights, Formula 3, and Formula Atlantic. Soppe has worked with the elite of the elite in IndyCar having been part of Penske Racing assigned to Rick Mears’ car early in Mears’ career.
“I am very proud of what this team has achieved in just two years and excited to have Spencer on our team for this season,” said Pelfrey. “He has shown his capabilities over the past few years and I know he is ready to make this next step. At the same time I am delighted that Stefan and Darrell have joined our team as we move forward. Their massive experience will be crucial in helping Spencer develop as a driver.” — Dale Pelfrey, Owner of Team Pelfrey
The addition of a talented driver like Pigot combined with the engineering experience Dwornick and Soppe bring to the table, and the proven experience and talent of the mechanics at Team Pelfrey make their defense seem pretty likely. It will be a hard combination to beat, but JDC Motorsport, Juncos Racing, and Andretti Autosport are no slouches. The inaugural year for the Pro Mazda Championship should be a good one!