MONTEREY, Calif. – One of Team Pelfrey’s aces in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires was going to win the series championship and young American Aaron Telitz was the one to do it with a win in the third and final race of the weekend, and 16th and final race of the season.
Driving the No. 82 Rice Lake Weighing Systems entry, Telitz finally had a trouble-free drive in the 40-minute race from his third successive pole position of the weekend.
Despite a massively furious, late charge from Will Owen in Juncos Racing to close within 1.0543 of a second, Telitz held on for his sixth win of the season – and his 13 podiums to nine for teammate Pato O’Ward was enough to win the title more on consistency. O’Ward won one more race, seven to six, with Nico Jamin (two wins) and Nicolas Dapero (one win) adding the remainder of the wins this year.
Owen was second with Dapero third.
Jamin and Jake Parsons got around O’Ward in the final two laps for fourth and fifth, leaving the young Mexican in sixth after he faded in the waning stages of the race owing to a broken right rear A-frame.
Unofficially, Telitz won the title by 28 points – 421 to 393 – but in truth the year was closer than that between them.
Telitz wins the Mazda advancement scholarship of $600,000 to move into the top rung of the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires ladder, the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, in 2017. Telitz has primarily Wisconsin-based support and also some additional help from the Rising Star Racing initiative.