LEXINGTON, Ohio (May 6, 2018) – As the fourth round of the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio was another opportunity for Mazda Team Joest to continue to build upon its forward progress. While Pigot was racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series at Long Beach, Mazda Team Joest was across the track and recorded their a best finish of the season as Tristan Nunez and Oliver Jarvis drove the No. 77 Castrol / Modspace Mazda RT24-P to a fourth-place finish. At Sebring, the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P driven by Jonathan Bomarito, Spencer Pigot and Harry Tincknell contended for victory until the final hour of the race, while Jarvis set the fastest lap of the race.
At Mid-Ohio, Pigot substituted for Tincknell who was competing in the first round of the World Endurance Championship. Brought in to compete with Mazda’s prototype program in the endurance races since 2016, Mid-Ohio was Pigot’s first IMSA sprint race.
The pair of Mazda RT24-Ps had shown their potential in qualifying and that speed carried over to the start of Sunday’s two hour and forty-minute race. From the drop of the green flag the No. 77 Castrol/Modspace Mazda RT24-P, started by Jarvis, and the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P started by Jonathan Bomarito, battled at the head of the field. Heavy lapped traffic played a factor nearly immediately, with lapped cars allowing Bomarito and Jarvis to make up ground but at times, but more frequently, lose time to their competitors.
During the second round of pit stops, Spencer Pigot took over from Bomarito in the No. 55 Mazda RT24-P while Tristan Nunez took over the No. 77 Mazda RT24-P as both cars were in the top-three. While making up rapid time, Pigot was hit from behind by a GT-class car, causing damage that forced him to retire from the race.
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SPENCER PIGOT, NO. 55 MAZDA RT24-P: “This was a tough finish to the race for Jonathan and I. He had done a great job in the first half start to put us in a position to be on the podium, or win, and the Mazda RT24-P was working really well. Unfortunately, a GT car hit us after just a few laps and right away I knew something was wrong. It’s such a shame for the guys, they gave Jonathan and I a great car and deserved better for all the effort they put in. I’m looking forward to getting back in the car at Watkins Glen and giving them the finish they deserve.”