Spencer Pigot will make his debut in the MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain this weekend on the renowned Silverstone Arena circuit, home of the Formula 1 British Grand Prix.
Pigot, who celebrated his 18th birthday last week, will be carrying the distinctive red, white and blue colors of the Team USA Scholarship for the second year in succession. Last year he qualified on pole and set fastest lap for the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch in the Kent-engined class. This time around he will drive one of the faster, slick-tired Duratec cars for Cliff Dempsey Racing and will use this weekend's final round of the British championship as a warm-up for next week's Formula Ford Festival. He will join CDR regular Neil Alberico, from Los Gatos, Calif., who turned 19 today and next week will step back into a Kent car as a first-year Team USA Scholarship winner.
“The main focus at Silverstone will be to get used to the car and learn as much as I can for the Festival,” said Pigot, who finished second in this year's Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda, driving for Andretti Autosport. “It will be good to have Neil there since he has been driving them all year. However, I'm still expecting to be pretty competitive. The team has a lot of experience with Formula Fords so I know they will give me a great car.”
“I think what I learned last year will be a big help. I know what to expect in terms of the style of racing which is a lot different to that in America. We did get to test the Duratec last year for a few sessions [at Brands Hatch] so I have a small understanding of the characteristics of the car. I have a bit of experience at Silverstone but it will only help me on a few corners because we didn't run the full GP track last year.”
“The USF2000 and Duratec cars don't have many similarities, but a big one is the gearbox,” he continued. “I didn't have any experience with the H-pattern gearbox last year but the USF2000 has the same, so that's one thing I won't have to get used to. With all the aerodynamics on the USF2000 car it has a big effect on the way the car handles and brakes, so the Formula Ford will be much different.
“I'm really looking forward to driving on the full GP track at Silverstone. I've talked to some of my friends that have raced there and they all love it. I've been driving it a lot on iRacing and the new F1 video game so I can't wait to actually try it out myself!”
On Friday, Pigot did exactly that, turning his first laps on the challenging 3.66-mile circuit in the Ray GR10 chassis. He posted some competitive times in the dry this morning, and was sixth fastest in damp, drying conditions this afternoon. His best time of 2:21.922 was less than 0.6sec adrift of pace-setting Dutchman Jeroen Slaghekke.
“It was really good,” he said. “This car slides around a lot more than my USF2000 car and the track is a bit different to what I expected in several places, but it's been a good day. Hopefully, we can pick up a bit more time tomorrow.”