Team Pelfrey Scores Sweep at Barber
 April 24, 2016| 
  • Team News
RACE ONE
Aaron Telitz started on the pole in his No. 82 Rice Lake Weighing Systems powered Mazda with teammates Weiron Tan and Pato O’Ward starting in the third and fourth positions. Telitz grabbed the pole position from Garret Grist on the last lap of qualifications after the team made a strategy to call to wait for the track to dry before leaving pit lane with 10 minutes to spare.
 
When the green flag waived for Race One, the Birchwood, Wisc. -native cleared the second place battle by almost a second. O’Ward made a first lap move through the Turns 1-4 complex to grab second, passing his teammate Tan and a hard-charging Grist. From there, Telitz and O’Ward gapped the pack by over six seconds before a caution came out on lap 13 for an incident involving Jake Parsons.
 
On the restart, the No. 80 and 82 cars worked together to gap the pack and build a seven second lead. The teammates, who both claimed race wins in St. Petersburg.  With five laps remaining, O’Ward passed Telitz in turn 15 with an impressive move to the inside. O’Ward never relinquished first position and went on to claim his second win in the 2016 Pro Mazda Championship season with Telitz finishing in second place.
 
Tan and Grist would battle for third, but the Malaysian driver came up short, finishing .277 behind the Canadian in fourth place.
 
RACE 2
Race One winner, Pato O’Ward, started on the pole in his No. 80 Gap Guard machine, followed by teammate Aaron Telitz in the No. 82 Rice Lake Weighing Systems car. Weiron Tan, in his No. 81 Resorts World machine, started 7th.
 
At the start, O’Ward managed to break away cleanly, with Telitz following suit closely behind. Tan passed several cars at the start, making his way to 5th before making violent contact with Jake Parsons. The Malaysian went over the top of Parsons and landed in the turn five braking zone. Tan emerged from the car safely, but the accident ended the day for the series sophomore and brought out a caution on the first lap.
 
On the lap three restart, O’Ward pulled away and distanced himself from Telitz, who was forced to defend his position successfully from a determined Grist. From there, O’Ward and Telitz maintained a 1.3-2.1 second gap for the rest of the race with Grist over 10 seconds behind the Team Pelfrey duo.
 
O’Ward went on to win the race, sweeping the weekend at Barber Motorsports Park and building his lead in the driver points standings. Telitz finished second for the second consecutive race to maintain his position in the standings behind O’Ward..
 
The next two rounds of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires will take place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as part of the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis May 12-14. 
 
Quotes:
 
Pato O’Ward (No. 80 Gap Guard-Team Pelfrey) Race Two, started 1st, finished 1st: “Wow I can’t believe this. The team worked so hard since we unloaded and we communicated perfectly this weekend. I bit the bullet originally in qualifying, so getting my fastest lap in the race was crucial for today. It was a long race and concentrating on hitting my line and focusing on clean lap times. Winning these races means a lot to me because I don’t know for sure if I have the funding for future races. I’m hopeful that some people will find out about me and my success and can come on board and sponsor me. I want to thank my dad and Team Pelfrey for believing in me and giving me a great car. I also want to thank Topo Chico mineral water for helping me out this race. They are a big reason why I am holding these two first place trophies.”
 
Weiron Tan (No. 81 Resorts World-Team Pelfrey) Race Two, started 7th, did not finish: “Not much to say about that last race. I was beside Jake Parsons going down the straight into five, and he just keep squeezing me into the grass. I was already in the grass pretty much and he just kept doing it again. I think it was a really stupid drive for me, and he should have known that there was a car beside him. It was just a very disappointing race overall, but congrats to Aaron and Pato finishing one, two. You know, we will fight again the next race and recover in Indy.”
 
Aaron Telitz (No. 82 Rice Lake Weighing Systems-Team Pelfrey) Race Two, started 2nd, finished 2nd: “That race was pretty intense from the start. I had a good run on Pato on the start but I just couldn’t get in the right position to make a smart move. Weiron’s crash was pretty intense and I’m glad he’s alright. On the restart, I ended up battling [Garret] Grist and went side by side through the first couple of corners and into turn five. After I held him off, I just tried to concentrate on my line and follow Pato. The car was hard to manage towards the end because of the heat but my Cooper Tires held up great and I’m glad to come away with a second place finish and maintain my spot in the championship. As always, thanks to the team for giving me an amazing car and thank you to Rice Lake Weighing Systems for supporting me. On to Indy in two weeks.”

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