Ed Carpenter Racing’s Spencer Pigot in the No.20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet secured the best starting position of his Verizon IndyCar Series career as he will start Sunday’s season opening Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg from 13th place.
Pigot made his debut in the Verizon IndyCar Series last year starting from 21st place to finish the race in 14th place, he will be hoping for a good start to his season. Speaking following the session, Pigot commented by saying:
It was still a little disappointing not to advance to the next round of qualifying. It was so close. A couple hundredths of a second would have put us through. We made some good gains from practice so that’s important. Thanks to the Fuzzy’s Vodka guys for working hard and giving me a good car. We’re good on longer runs, so tomorrow we’re going to give it a shot.
JR Hildebrand who has driven with Ed Carpenter Racing in the Indianapolis 500 in recent years has stepped up to a full-time Verizon IndyCar Series drive with Ed Carpenter Racing replacing Josef Newgarden in the No.21 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka Chevrolet.
Hildebrand will start the race from 19th place. The American has three previous starts at the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Hildebrand commented by saying:
Tomorrow’s going to be tough because there’s not a lot of strategy options. It’s a pretty straightforward situation. For us, we need to be confident that we can make some moves on our own and be good at picking our way through. Outside of that, we have to be smart when things do happen. If there are issues in front of us, we need to be able to take advantage of those when they happen. Obviously not where we want to be to kick things off here, but it leaves room for improvement certainly. We’ll continue to plug away at it, we’ve got a whole season to get to the point where we are consistently competitive but we want to get there as quick as we can. We know there are some things we can work on.
The 110 lap Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg gets underway at noon on Sunday.