Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

Garett Grist steps up to Indy Lights with Team Pelfrey

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In the first formal announcement of what could be several changes before the next Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires race at Road America, Garett Grist has announced a step up to Indy Lights from the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires series.

The young Canadian ran the opening seven rounds in Pro Mazda, what was his third year in that series, with a best finish of second at his most recent round at Lucas Oil Raceway outside Indianapolis.

He’ll now move into Indy Lights with Team Pelfrey, in the team’s No. 3 BuyGapGuard.com Dallara IL-15 Mazda for the remaining road course races. Scott Hargrove, who had driven that car all races this year, will return for Iowa Speedway.

The full Team Pelfrey release is below:

Team Pelfrey Indy Lights announced today that Mazda Road to Indy veteran Garett Grist will pilot the No. 3 BuyGapGuard.com Team Pelfrey Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Mazda machine for the remaining road course races in 2016.

“I am very excited to be joining team Pelfrey for the rest of the 2016 Indy Lights season,” said Grist. “The team has proven they can win races and run up front. I’d like to thank Dale Pelfrey for the opportunity he has given me. It wouldn’t be possible without him and my other supporters, Lander Property Management and Mac Tools.”

The Grimsby, Ontario-native has been competing in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires for the past two and a half seasons, recording 5 wins and 30 top-10 finishes. The 21 year-old finished third in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered By Mazda in 2013, and repeated the feat during the 2015 Pro Mazda season.

“I have been watching Garett for quite some time now,” said Team Pelfrey Indy Lights Team Manager, Gary Neal. “I am very happy that we have been able to put together a program for Garett to join Team Pelfrey Indy Lights team for the final road course events this season to prepare him for a full program in 2017. Our expectations at the track are always to be in the mix for the win and we aim to deliver a competitive car for Garett in his first event at Road America.”

Grist’s first race with the team will come at the inaugural Mazda Indy Lights Grand Prix of Road America Presented by Cooper Tires. He is partnered with Mac Tools, Spyder Active, Lander Property Management, Sparco and Bell Helmets. He will be teaming up with Juan Piedrahita in a pair of trademark yellow Team Pelfrey Indy Lights cars.

“We know it won’t be easy coming in half way through the year. But we plan to work hard, and improve every time we are on track. I am looking forward to working with everyone on the team and learning from each of them,” said Grist.

Rounds 9 and 10 of the 2016 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season take place June 24-26 at the historic 4.048-mile, 14-turn Road America circuit. You can follow Garett on Instagram @GarettGrist and Team Pelfrey Indy Lights @TeamPelfrey on twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Dan Ticktum wins crash-marred FIA F3 World Cup in Macau

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Overshadowed by a horrific crash involving Sophia Floersch was the fact that 19-year-old Dan Ticktum dominated and won the Macau Grand Prix – a victory that puts him closer to earning the superlicence required to allow him to race with Formula 1, according to Yahoo! Sports.

Ticktum won Macau’s qualification race as well as the Grand Prix, starting first in both events. For his victories, he earned 10 points, which combined with 25 for his runner-up finish in the European F3 Championship leaves him just five below the 40 needed for the license.

This was Ticktum’s second Macau Grand Prix victory.

“It was a dominant performance that I was preparing for,” Ticktum said on his web site. “I don’t think I’ve ever prepared as hard as I did for this race and it all worked out. In the final race a lot of variables were thrown at me but I handled them.”

On his way to victory lane, Ticktum had to survive several restarts including the lengthy red flag period following Floersch’s accident to repair the barrier.

“I can’t count how many safety car restarts we had to do,” Ticktum said. “It puts a lot of pressure on a driver here with such a long run down to the first corner. I can’t remember a weekend when I’ve put it all together so well.

“The car was absolutely perfect all weekend, it was so good and I can’t thank Motopark enough for that. I’ve never been so involved in the set-up, felt so at one with the car as I did this weekend.”