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Pigot, Brabham take Sebring at Winterfest

Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing drivers Spencer Pigot and Matthew Brabham each brought home a race win as the Cooper Tires Winterfest concluded a two-day race event at Sebring International Raceway.

Pigot took the lead from pole sitter and teammate Trent Hindman on the opening lap and built a three-second advantage in Race 2. He held off the hard-charging Brabham in damp conditions to win the first of two races on Feb. 7.

Brabham got past Hindman and began to close on Pigot, who held on for the win by .079 of a second. Hindman finished third to sweep the podium for the Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing squad.

Brabham, by virtue of his fast lap in Race 2, started on pole in Race 3 and led flag to flag. Pigot, who started third, was able to pass Hindman again, but couldn’t challenge Brabham for his third win.

“Today was fantastic," Brabham said. "It was very interesting throughout the day with the changing weather conditions. It really threw a mix into the situation and provided a little bit more entertainment for the crowd and for us as well. To come away with a win in the last race is absolutely fantastic.

"I can’t describe the feeling. It definitely makes a great start to the season and caps off all the testing we have been doing and all the hard work the team has been doing."

Hindman finished third for the third-straight race with Matthew Di Leo and Thomas McGregor rounding out the top five.

“I am definitely happy with the first races of the season and three third-place finishes," Hindman said. "You always want to be on the top step of the podium but still I am just super-happy for the whole team."

Pigot, who finished second to Petri Suvanto in the 2011 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda season, will enter the second round of Winterfest at Palm Beach International Raceway with a four point lead he gained with his two race wins at Sebring. The first came from a 2.960 second victory over Brabham on Feb. 6.

“It was a good day here at Sebring,” Pigot said. “I started the day off with a win in the second race and it was a really good race for me. It was very close with Matt [Brabham] towards the end. After that, we had to get right back into race mode for Race 3. I started third and was able to briefly get the lead at the start. It was a good race and I was in second the whole time, but my car really came in towards the end so I wish there had been a couple of more laps. In all, it was a really good couple of days for me.”

Di Leo finished fourth ahead of Shelby Blackstock, who improved his finishing place with every race aboard the #8 Starstruck/Andretti Autosport car.

Paul Alsbach, 18, from Fogelsville, Pa., claimed the National Class spoils in both of today’s races, driving the #97 Formula Enterprises Van Diemen-Mazda for Robinson Motor Sports/Bertil Roos Racing School.

The Cooper Tires Winterfest concludes with three races on Feb. 11-12 at Palm Beach International Raceway.

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