After qualifying with a time of 1m05.922s, Hargrove started race one in fourth position only six tenths away from pole. Immediately in turn one the young Canadian driver lost some ground dropping to sixth but promptly gained back fourth position in turn two. For the remainder of the race he kept his position and exposed his toughness by fending off fellow Pro Mazda graduate Kyle Kaiser.
Race two was also a test of Hargrove’s fortitude behind the wheel. Driving the brand-new Dallara IL-15 chassis and 2.0-liter turbocharged Mazda MZR-R engine, Hargrove was the protagonist of another intense duel. Throughout the 45-lap race, the young Canadian’s potential was on full display and in a close battle for sixth position, he emerged as the winner against Matthew Brabham.
It was a pleasing experience all weekend for Hargrove as he stated, “Hats off to everyone at 8Star Motorsports, we put a deal together for St. Petersburg less than two weeks ago and straight out of the trailer we were quick. The BC Pit Crew car looked the part and I’m thrilled to have battled at the front, coming away from my first Indy Lights weekend with a 4th place finish. I’m hopeful we will be able to find more partners to join our team, allowing us to race in the historic streets of Long Beach.”
Overall it was a great start for Hargrove and 8Star Motorsports, Team Manager Gary Neal said “The level of performance was very tight which doesn’t leave much room for astounding moves unless there was an accident or mistakes. Weather was nice,a good race, but we’re still learning the car and missed a couple of tests so we’re playing catch-up a little bit. Its all very close so we’re optimistic for the future, especially if we can have Scott with us as well.” The optimism was also shared by team owner Enzo Potolicchio who stated that “It was a good start for us and Scott, we hope that we will be able to extend this partnership and make it a durable and prolific one.”
The partnership between 8Star Motorsports and Scott Hargrove ended after these first two rounds of the championship in St. Petersburg, but all efforts are being made to extend it for as long as possible throughout the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season. The main goal right now is to fill the seats for the third round of the Indy Lights championship in the Streets of Long Beach.
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