ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – Aaron Telitz, from Birchwood, Wis., bounced back into contention for the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires – and the chase for a Mazda Scholarship to graduate to Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the next level of the Mazda Road to Indy, in 2017 – following an impressive double victory today for Team Pelfrey at Road America. Telitz started on the pole for both races and his superiority was never really challenged.
Argentinean rookie Nicolas Dapero (Juncos Racing) and Frenchman Nico Jamin (Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing) shared the runner-up finishes, while Colorado’s Will Owen claimed a pair of third-place results for Juncos Racing.
Telitz lost no time in making his presence felt this morning. Cheered on by an enthusiastic gathering of relatives and friends, the Wisconsin native took off confidently into the lead from the pole and quickly stretched out an advantage of more than three seconds over outside front row qualifier Jake Parsons (Juncos Racing). Parsons, though, was hindered by a broken rear wing, courtesy of a first-corner incident when 2015 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda winner Nico Jamin misjudged his overtaking maneuver and clipped the rear end of Parsons’s car.
Parsons gamely held onto second place for the opening four laps with his ill-handling car but was unable to avoid falling to sixth at the finish.
Juncos Racing teammate Dapero took up the running after overtaking series points leader Pato O’Ward (Team Pelfrey) with a bold outside line maneuver at Turn One on Lap Four. But by then he was already four seconds adrift. Dapero gradually whittled away at the deficit to Telitz before running wide onto the grass at the exit of Turn Six. Undaunted, Dapero continued to post a series of fast laps to secure his second successive podium finish.
Owen earned himself the Quarter Master Hard Charger Award by rising from sixth on the grid to third following a bold pass on O’Ward in Turn One with four laps remaining. California’s TJ Fischer claimed the Staubli Award after finishing sixth on his Pro Mazda debut in a third Team Pelfrey entry.
Race two this afternoon followed a similar script as Telitz extended Team Pelfrey’s remarkable unbeaten streak this season. His eventual winning margin was 10.2885 seconds over Jamin, who bounced back from his earlier disappointment by sneaking past Parsons at Turn Five on the opening lap to claim second. Owen secured another Quarter Master Hard Charger Award by once again passing O’Ward in the late stages to complete his rise from sixth on the grid to third.
Team Pelfrey also took home the PFC Award from both races, while Bobby Eberle (JDC MotorSports) secured a pair of National Class victories. The Texan was fortunate in the first race, profiting when Bob Kaminsky spun away his hard-won advantage with just three laps remaining, but drove well in the afternoon to edge teammate Kevin Davis by less than two tenths of a second following a race-long battle.
Telitz’s performance has reduced teammate O’Ward’s championship lead to 28 points, 259-231, as the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires heads to its second and final oval track race of the season at Iowa Speedway, once again in conjunction with the Verizon IndyCar Series, on July 10.
Aaron Telitz (Rice Lake Weighing Systems-Team Pelfrey): “It’s hard to explain how happy I am! Obviously, winning in Wisconsin – my home state – with all my friends, family and supporters here was incredible. I love having people here, it really fuels me, rather than adding pressure. I had an awesome car all day. To sweep both races, getting both poles and two wins, there’s not much more I could ask for.”