Junior Open Wheel Talent

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Formula Ford Festival: Team USA Recap

by Ryan Stringfield
Posted October 19, 2010 at 3:56 pm Team USA Scholarship

HARD CHARGER -- Spencer Pigot (No. 22) narrowly missed the podium in his Formula Ford Festival debut
(Photo: Jeff Bloxham)

It’s never easy to start a race from the back of the pack.

This is especially true at the highly-competitive Formula Ford Festival in Europe. While Team USA drivers Spencer Pigot and Felix Serralles were unable to come away with a win, both did a commendable job given the circumstances.

Both were¬† forced to start the semi-finals from the rear of the field after colliding in Saturday’s heat race.

In the first of two heat races, Serralles was able to improve 13 spots in two laps. Unfortunately a misfiring engine (due to a loose plug wire) relegated him to 14th at the checkered. The semi-final result sent him to the Last Chance Qualifier, which he won, easily.

Pigot’s luck was a little better. The 17-year-old piloted his Cliff Dempsey-prepared Ray GRS07/08 chassis to sixth after starting 22nd in the second semi-final.

Undeterred by their previous bad luck, both drivers successfully made the “Kent Class” final. Pigot lined up 11th, while Serralles was 25th. Their work was cut out.

Serralles’ bad luck continued, however, when he was knocked out of contention on the opening lap. With his teammate out, Pigot forged on picking up seven spots by the end of the race. Despite narrowly missing the podium, finishing fourth, Pigot set the fastest lap of the race and showcased his ability to work through adversity.

According to all reports, both drivers learned a lot this past weekend and sampled a taste of success: Pigot’s pole for the heat races and Serralles’ win in the LCQ, not to mention their ability to move through the field. Given the unfamiliar surroundings and the pressure associated with this opportunity, I’d say both did a remarkable job.

The drivers will begin preparations for the upcoming Walter Hayes Trophy, Nov. 6-7, at Silverstone.

It remains to be seen if their luck will change at the WHT, but one thing is certain: regardless of the cards dealt, neither driver will give up.

Click Here for a look at all JOWT’s Team USA Coverage.

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