MRTI: Pigot, Enerson dominate Barber weekend

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Beyond the Verizon IndyCar Series, all three rungs of the Mazda Road to Indy were in action this weekend at Barber Motorsports Park.

The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires recaps are linked here (Zach Veach won Race 1 with Gabby Chaves winning Race 2); meanwhile a quick wrap of the pair of Pro Mazda Presented by Cooper Tires and Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda races:

PRO MAZDA: PIGOT MAKES IT 4-FOR-4

It must be something about even-numbered years that brings out the best in Juncos Racing’s Spencer Pigot. Pigot swept the two Pro Mazda races at Barber, as he did at St. Petersburg in the season opener. He won eight USF2000 races in 2012 and he’s now four-for-four to kick off the Pro Mazda season, as he seeks to track down his longtime sparring partner Matthew Brabham’s mark of wins from 2013 (13 of 16 races).

Sunday’s Race 2 for Pigot required a move on Scott Hargrove, who ultimately finished second.

“I knew going in that as long as I had one wheel alongside Scott, I was going to go for it,” Pigot said post-race. “Luckily, I had a little more than that – I was alongside or even a little bit ahead. It was a bit closer than I would have liked but that’s what you get for starting second. You never know when you go side by side what’s going to happen on the exit. We were as close as we could get without touching; I’m actually surprised there isn’t some rubber on the side of the car. I went a little defensive into Turn 5 – I was trying to hold him up and then get a run but he didn’t slow down, he pulled alongside me. If it had been a left turn instead of a right turn at the end of the backstretch, he would have been by. It was some really good, close racing.”

Pigot now leads the standings by 41 points over both Hargrove and Kyle Kaiser, 130-89, heading into the month of May at Indianapolis.

RESULTS, Races 1 and 2

USF2000: ENERSON WINS A PAIR ON SATURDAY

Winterfest champion RC Enerson took both Saturday race wins in USF2000, the latter of two after holding back the challenge from Armsup Motorsports rookie Aaron Telitz.

“It was a great day. We won Race 1 and coming into Race 2, we had a good lead then a full course yellow came out. I was able to make a good restart and start pulling out a gap. I saw them fighting behind me and knew it was my chance to get away. I saw Aaron [Telitz] coming at the end and I was just trying to hold on.”

RESULTS, Races 1 and 2

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”