Blackstock Hits It Big In Canada
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – One day after earning his third pole position and third runner-up finish of the season, Shelby Blackstock guided his Andretti Autosport/Team Starstruck entry to a well-deserved maiden victory in Round 10 of the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires at the fast Canadian Tire Motorsport Park circuit.
Blackstock, a 23-year-old rookie from Nashville, Tenn., started second behind yesterday’s first-time winner, Spencer Pigot. After shadowing the Team Pelfrey car for the first 11 laps, Blackstock took advantage of a slight slip by the 19-year-old from Orlando, Fla., to take the lead in Turn Eight and never looked back.
While Pigot lost another couple of places to Juncos Racing teammates Scott Anderson and Diego Ferreira over the next couple of corners, Blackstock put his head down in the lead which he had no trouble in protecting through the remainder of the 20-lap race.
Anderson, also 23, from Fort Collins, Colo., had started in sixth place but moved up two positions on Lap Six when Nicolas Costa (Team Pelfrey) and championship leader Matthew Brabham (Andretti Autosport) collided in Turn Eight while disputing third place. The pair had also been in vigorous contention for the lead but were unable to resume.
After a full-course caution to remove Brabham’s stranded car, Pigot once again took off in the lead, chased by Blackstock, while Anderson took advantage of a slight slip by Ferreira to move into third place, which became second just a couple of laps later when Blackstock made his move for the lead and Pigot found himself freight-trained down to fourth.
Blackstock took the checkered flag 2.056 seconds clear of Anderson – who was delighted with his first Pro Mazda podium finish – with Ferreira, Pigot and a closing local driver Zack Meyer (JDC MotorSports), from Toronto, rounding out the top five.
Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda regular Dalton Kellett also ran a strong race in his Pro Mazda debut this weekend. The Stouffville, Ont., native ran as high as fifth in a third Team Pelfrey car before being forced to make an unscheduled pit stop on lap 13 after an off-track excursion. He eventually recovered to finish in eighth.