After the first round of races for the 2014 Cooper Tires Winterfest series for USF2000 and Pro Mazda, RC Enerson leads the USF2000 points for Team E Racing and Spencer Pigot heads the Pro Mazda contenders.
USF2000 featured three different winners over the weekend at NOLA Motorsports Park, with Enerson, of New Port Ritchey, Fla., taking the victory in race No. 2. The 16-year old started from the pole and pulled away on the 16-turn, 2.75-mile road course near New Orleans. He survived a late-race challenge from Victor Franzoni, who took the victory in the opening round on Friday, when a full-course caution was called toward the end of the race.
Enerson also led that Friday race from pole, but Henrik Furuseth made an impressive move around him on a restart after a caution. Brazilian Franzoni took advantage of Enerson’s lost momentum to take second. A couple of laps later, Franzoni (Afterburner Autosport) again seized the opportunity when Furuseth bobbled. Furuseth finished second with Enerson third.
Aaron Telitz set the fast lap in Race No. 2 and thus started on pole for the third contest of the weekend. But it was Clark Toppe from The Woodlands, Texas, starting on the outside of the front row, who emerged in the lead by the exit of Turn 1. Toppe scored a decisive victory for JDC MotorSports, followed by Jake Eidson in second and Michael Epps in third.
Enerson heads into the Tuesday and Wednesday tripleheader at Barber Motorsports Park with a 70-64 points lead over Eidson for Winterfest honors. Franzoni is third in the points with 61, followed by Toppe (58) and Furuseth (56).
Pigot came out gunning in Race No. 1 for Pro Mazda on Friday. The 20-year old from Orlando, Fla., qualified on pole, jumped into the lead, set fastest lap and was never challenged as he cruised to victory for Juncos Racing. Shelby Blackstock and Kyle Kaiser were second and third on Friday.
While the fast lap left Pigot on pole for the second of two races at NOLA, Garret Grist of Grimsby, Ont., Canada jumped clear of the field at the start to take the win for Andretti Autosport. Pigot fell back as far as sixth, but charged back to finish second followed by Pipo Derani, who was trying to hold off Pigot when he left his braking a little too late with just three corners to go in the race. The 2013 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda champion, Scott Hargrove, finished fourth.
Pigot leads the standings of the Cooper Tires Winterfest for the Pro Mazda Championship Series Presented by Cooper Tires by 10 points over Grist as the series heads to a doubleheader at Barber Motorsports Park on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Cooper Tires Winterfest started in 2011 as a four-race miniseries for the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda. Now comprising six races, the Winterfest has added the four-race Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and a comprehensive test for the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires competitors, allowing teams and drivers from all three Mazda Road to Indy open-wheel series to get a head start on the regular season.