W. ALLIS, WIS. (August 18, 2014) – Team Pelfrey displayed remarkable resilience during a challenging weekend at the historic Milwaukee Mile oval. Fast-emerging Brazilian driver Nicolas Costa emerged with another solid top-five result after leading briefly in the early stages, while Canadian teammate Dalton Kellett overcame a heavy crash on Saturday morning to bring his hastily rebuilt car home to a plucky 11th-place finish.
The team uncharacteristically struggled to find pace from its pair of Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires cars during testing on Friday and in first practice on Saturday morning, but was making some progress during the second session before a suspected rear suspension failure pitched Kellett into the wall. Damage to the car was severe, with the entire left side virtually destroyed and the gearbox also in need of replacement.
While Kellett was obliged to skip single-car qualifying, Costa took full advantage of some judicious setup changes by holding the fastest time for much of the session and finally securing a starting position on the outside of the front row. It was a welcome fillip for the crew which was battling to repair Kellett’s car in time for the 6:30 p.m. start. Remarkably, and thanks in no small part to the generosity of three experienced mechanics from the rival Andretti Autosport organization who pitched in to help, Kellett’s car was rolled onto the pre-grid with just a few minutes to spare.
A bold move around the outside at Turn One enabled Costa to take the lead at the start of the 90-lap race. He was unable to maintain the leading pace but still ran strongly in third until an incident on Lap 43 brought out the caution flags. Costa later slipped to fifth place but still did enough to move himself into sixth place in the championship standings with just two races remaining on August 22/23 at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.
WHAT THE DRIVERS SAID:
Dalton Kellett (#80 Team Pelfrey/K-Line Insulators USA, Inc./Gap Guard) – started 13th, finished 11th: “It was pretty much a six-hour full-court press just to get the car up and running, and we just got out as everyone was rolling to pre-grid. I had to bump-start the car because the clutch wasn’t working but given the rush to get everything back together, the setup might not have been perfect so it was more a question of bringing the car home and getting laps and we managed to do that without incident. I’m really thankful for the effort everyone put together to get the car ready. Even three of the Andretti Autosport guys came over, and honestly if they hadn’t have come I don’t think we would have made it out.”
Nicolas Costa (#82 Team Pelfrey/buygapguard.com) – started second, finished fifth: “It was an interesting day. We went from almost dead last to almost pole position and actually led the race for a couple of laps, but we actually went the wrong way with the setup and the car had a lot of oversteer throughout the race. I kind of went to the safe side and just tried to bring the car home and be as smooth as I could because I was having some moments out there. Even though the race car wasn’t really good we still ended up with a top-five. I’ll take a top-five on an oval, especially from where we were at the beginning of the weekend. I’m really proud for the effort Team Pelfrey put forward for the weekend.”
ABOUT TEAM PELFREY:
Dale Pelfrey’s race team, based in Palmetto, Fla., is built upon the same principles he used 35 years ago when establishing his business career – hire the best, acquire the best and expect the best in order to achieve the most. After fielding cars in the IndyCar Series from 1998 until 2000, Team Pelfrey was reformed in 2011, winning on its Pro Mazda debut and going on to earn the Team Championship as well as second and third in the drivers’ title-chase with Connor De Phillippi and Nick Andries. Team Pelfrey went one better in 2012, guiding Jack Hawksworth to the Drivers’ Championship and earning a second successive Team Championship.
For more information, please contact Nigel Tuckey at 727-504-1414 or firstname.lastname@example.org.