PRO MAZDA: Urrutia Flexes His Muscle at Mid-Ohio; Charges to Third Win of Season in Commanding Fashion

RaceChaser Staff Featured, Mazda Road to Indy, Midwest, Sprints & Midgets 0 Comments

LEXINGTON, Ohio – official series release — Pro Mazda photo —

Points leader Santi Urrutia took another step toward his goal of winning the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires for Team Pelfrey by virtue of his victory Saturday in the first of two races at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Championship rival Neil Alberico bounced back to prominence with a second-place finish, while Timothé Buret completed the podium after finding a way past pole-winning Juncos Racing teammate Garett Grist on lap six.

Urrutia, from Miguelete, Uruguay, enjoyed a slice of good fortune when early race leader Alberico was instructed by Race Control to drop behind the Team Pelfrey driver after being adjudged to have anticipated the start with a little too much alacrity. At that stage Alberico, who qualified second, was pulling away from the pack, having leaped ahead of Grist at the start line, with Urrutia following him through from fourth on the grid at the rolling start.

Alberico throttled back to negate the 3.5-second advantage he had established, and skillfully managed to allow Urrutia past, as instructed, without losing any more positions.

Urrutia then controlled the remainder of the 30-minute race to secure his third win of the season, while Alberico had to be content with second place, albeit with the consolation of adding a bonus point for posting the fastest lap of the race.

“I had a good start behind Neil. He was quite quick. When he got the penalty, I drove to P1. It was a really hard race; he was pushing behind me. But I really didn’t expect this,” said Urrutia. “It was hard, knowing that the five drivers in the championship were the top five in qualifying. Everyone wants to win the championship, and it’s so competitive. We have to continue this way, not making any mistakes. The team has done a great job. This is good for us in the championship. We’ll start third tomorrow, so we’ll see what happens.”

Buret managed to squeeze past the unfortunate Grist when the Canadian was forced to lift off the throttle in order not to make contact with Alberico as the former race leader slotted in behind Urrutia as instructed. Try as he did, the disgruntled Grist was unable to redress the balance.

Florian Latorre finished fifth ahead of Weiron Tan and Pato O’Ward. Will Owen, Dalton Kellett and Franzoni completed the top 10.

CREDIT: Pro Mazda Championship

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