Telitz secures points lead after double-header at Mid-Ohio
 July 31, 2016| 
  • Team News
LEXINGTON, OH – Pro Mazda was out in full force this weekend at the Royal Purple Pro Mazda Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, where it concluded Rounds 12 and 13 of the 2016 season. Team Pelfrey’s Aaron Telitz took over as points leader in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, after entering the weekend deadlocked with teammate Pato O’Ward at 297 points.
 
It was an action-packed weekend as the trio of Telitz, O’Ward and TJ Fischer wheeled their cars around the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course, and fought to extend Team Pelfrey’s dominating winning streak of the past 11 consecutive races.
 
After Friday’s practice session, Telitz and his teammates were ready to qualify for Race 1 where Telitz claimed second and O’Ward and Fischer placed fifth and seventh, respectively.
 
On Saturday, the green flag for Race 1 dropped at 8:35 a.m. ET. Telitz came into the weekend tied with teammate O’Ward, and finished second in the race to break the tie and move ahead of O’Ward by 11 points.
 
Fischer, who stepped up from Team Pelfrey’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda program earlier this year, drove to sixth one spot ahead of O’Ward who was resigned in seventh place with an electrical issue.
 
Race 2 came Saturday at 6:00 p.m. ET, after O’Ward was given a hardship lap prior to Race 2 due to his electrical issue in Race 1. Telitz started from pole position in his No. 82 Rice Lake Weighing Systems Team Pelfrey Mazda. O’Ward and Fischer started fifth and seventh respectively. A full-course caution was thrown on Lap 8 due to a brief shower, which allowed Telitz to overcome a deficit to Will Owen for second place on the restart.
 
On Lap 16, Telitz briefly got around Owen before Owen got him back for second place with 10 minutes remaining. O’Ward set the fastest lap of the race with a lap time of 1:19.970, and put pressure on Telitz. As Telitz and O’Ward were battling for third and fourth positions, Fischer was in a battle all of his own with Jake Parsons for fifth place. With four minutes remaining, Fischer and Parsons made contact at turn 12, resulting in a puncture for Parsons but ultimately saw Fischer secure another top 5 finish.
 
Telitz finished in third place, and O’Ward finished in fourth. The podium was Telitz’s sixth in a row and moves him into the championship lead ahead of O’Ward by 14 points, 345 to 331, after this weekend’s races.
 
Team Pelfrey will be back in action at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca located in Monterey, Calif., on September 9-11, for a three-race weekend to battle for the championship.  
 
Pato O’Ward, No. 80: “The weekend went pretty bad and things that were not in my hands happened.  I was very unlucky. I was pleased the issue was fixed for Race Two and I was the quickest racecar on the track in very tricky conditions. I’m so ready for Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and very excited to get out there and show what I’ve got.”
 
 TJ Fisher, No. 81: “The overall weekend was all about progression for me. I am trying to learn as much as possible from the guys at Team Pelfrey and both Pato and Aaron. We’re closing the gap significantly to the lead the pack and slowly inching away at it! It’s clear that the more seat time I get in the car, the more we improve. Qualifying went quite well, but just missed out on the last new tire run which put us 7th from 4th for most of the session. Both races were exciting; especially Race 2 running in the wet/dry conditions was insane! I felt really good to grab a 5th place and show that we had speed in trying conditions. Looking forward to the finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca!”
 
Aaron Telitz, No. 82: “What a battle here at Mid-Ohio this weekend! We qualified 2nd for Race 1 and pole for Race 2. I was glad to just take a solid 2nd in Race One. In Race Two I got a good jump from pole, but got dive bombed into Turn 2 and slid back to 4th. After some rain and crazy restart with more contact I managed to come away with 3rd and extended the championship lead. It’s all coming down to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Big thanks to Team Pelfrey, Rice Lake Weighing Systems, Rising Star Racing, and Styled Aesthetic for all their support this season. Let’s bring this championship home.” 
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