The entire Mazda Road to Indy field hit the streets of St. Petersburg this weekend exhibiting their skills in front of IndyCar team owners and fans. As usual, the show was good with drivers aggressively carving a path through the challenging 1.8-mile, 14-turn circuit.
Canadian Scott Hargrove dominated the USF2000 field earning back-to-back victories in Rounds 3-4 for his third win of the season. He leaves St. Pete with a 43-point advantage in the championship standings. Wyatt Gooden produced two runner-up podium finishes and remains second in the overall standings. Stefan Rzadzinski was third in Round 3. Jesse Lazare completed the podium in Round 4 after finishing fourth in the weekend’s first race.
In Pro Mazda competition, it was Brabham who struck first in an impressive drive from eighth-place to victory after seeing his shift lever break off in his hand during qualifying. After 21-laps Brabham’s lead was just under 10 seconds when the checkered flag waved. Diego Ferreira, Shelby Blackstock, Spencer Pigot, and Nick Andries rounded out the top five in Race 1.
In Race 2 (Round 4), Brabham quickly moved up through the field from fifth before passing teammate Blackstock for the lead on Lap 9. Ferreira was third with Pigot and Kaiser completing the top-five.
Indy Lights drivers found themselves chasing fellow competitor Jack Hawksworth. The “Hawk” took his first step toward capturing the Firehawk Trophy as he continues his ascent of the Mazda Road to Indy development ladder after winning the 2012 Pro Mazda Championship.
Early in the race Gabby Chaves led Carlos Munoz. With the lead on Lap 11, Chaves pinched Munoz to the inside of turn one. Fighting for the lead, Munoz drove too deep into the corner, locking his tires and sliding into Chaves, causing both drivers to spin. Following a drive-through penalty Munoz charged back into the top five only to face a mechanical DNF in the closing laps.
Veteran standout Peter Dempsey finished second with Sage Karam rounding out the podium.