Pelfrey Power Shines Under the Florida Sun
 March 13, 2016| 
  • Team News

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Team Pelfrey started Saturday morning at full speed at the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. In qualifying, Patricio “Pato” O’Ward took pole position with teammate Aaron Telitz right behind him finishing in second. Weiron Tan rounded out the top five, qualifying in fifth. Team Pelfrey looked to sweep the podium for Race One after the exciting results from the qualifications. 

From the green flag in Race One, O’Ward, made it through turn one with teammate, Telitz, holding off Jake Eidson for second place while Tan maintained his top-five position. From there, O’Ward held on during the grueling 40-minute race to claim his first career victory in the Pro Mazda Championship. The 16-year-old from Mexico has only signed for four races with the team. He hopes that his first place finish will lead to more sponsorships to continue the 2016 season with Team Pelfrey.
 
Aaron Telitz followed right behind O’Ward, also securing a podium with a second place finish. Telitz, who finished the 2015 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda season in third, is confident for the rest of the weekend and his 2016 season after locking down a second place finish in his first race of the season.
 
The pattern continued with the 21-year-old Malaysian, Tan, who finished fourth in his rookie Pro Mazda season last year, also finishing in the same place as he did during qualifications, fifth place. Although he did not round out the podium, Tan is poised for a successful Race Two and 2016 campaign.
 
The first weekend of the season concludes tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. EST.  Watch Team Pelfrey drivers race on the Road to INDY TV app or on RoadtoIndy.TV and follow them on Twitter @TeamPelfrey. 
 
WHAT THE DRIVERS SAID: 
Patricio “Pato” O’Ward (#80 Team Pelfrey/Octane Energy Drink/POW Motorsports Pro Mazda) – Qualifications, finished first; Race One, started first, finished first: 
“This is the second season, and I was expecting to win. Since I only have four races, I have to make them good so I can continue. I am just trying to do the best I can andhopefully there are some sponsors that can support me for the next few races and throughout the whole season.
 
Aaron Telitz (#82 Team Pelfrey/ Rice Lake Weighing Systems) - Qualifications finished second; Race One, started first, finished first: “Coming back from theoffseason, I was anticipating coming in fast, challenging for race wins and definitely making the podium. The car felt great. The longer race was a little more challenging than the USF2000, but it was good. It made me think a little bit more as I was driving. 
 
Weiron Tan (#81 Team Pelfrey/ Resorts World)- Qualifications, finished fifth; Race One, started fifth, finished fifth: "It was a challenging weekend for us, we just didn’t seem to have the speed like Pato and Aaron, but I’m really proud of our team for their hard work and poise to keep me up at the front even after encountering several mechanical issues during test and practice days. I’m still in a good position for tomorrow and for the rest of the season. Overall, we still have some work to do, and I can’t wait for tomorrow’s race.”

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