Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona Champion, Pato O’Ward Joins Team Pelfrey IL for Spring Training and the Season Opener

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (February 28, 2017) – Team Pelfrey IL announced today Pato O’Ward and his primary sponsors, Gap Guard and Topo Chico, will continue to stand behind the 2017 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona Champion as he moves through the Mazda Road to Indy ranks. O’Ward will be participating in spring training with Team Pelfrey IL at Homestead Miami Speedway as well as securing a spot on the grid for first race of the season in St. Petersburg, Fla. on March 10-12.

“I am back with Team Pelfrey in Indy Lights for the first official Series test and for the first race of the season in St. Petersburg,” commented O’Ward. “A big thank you goes to the creator of Gap Guard, better known as Dale Pelfrey, once again for the opportunity and the whole Team Pelfrey crew as well for the continuous support they have given me the last few years.”

O’Ward will pilot the No. 3 Topo Chico/Gap Guard Mazda alongside his Colombian teammate, Juan Piedrahita in the signature yellow #PelfreyPower machine.

“We are very excited to confirm Pato on the Indy Lights front,” stated Team Pelfrey IL team manager, Gary Neal. “Not only does this mean we have an exceptionally talented driver, but it’s also great to see the Team Pelfrey ladder system in full swing. We are looking forward to a strong outing at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.”

The 2017 season is scheduled to commence with a doubleheader race weekend through the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. March 10-12. Follow Team Pelfrey throughout the season via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram via @TeamPelfrey or by using the hashtag #PelfreyPower.

TSO Ladder Notes from Steve:

  • O’Ward is the second Team Pelfrey pilot and 14th over-all confirmed driver for the season opening race the 2017 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tire season, joining: Dalton Kellett (Andretti Autosport), Shelby Blackstock (Belardi Auto Racing), Nicolas Dapero (Juncos Racing),  Nico Jamin (Andretti Autosport), Ryan Norman (Andretti Autosport),  Kyle Kaiser (Juncos Racing), Colton Herta (Andretti Autosport),  Santiago Urrutia (Belardi Auto Racing),  Matheus Leist (Carlin),  Juan Piedrahita (Team Pelfrey),  Zachary Claman DeMelo (Carlin) and Neil Alberico (Carlin)
  • O’Ward, the 2016 Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire vice-champion, has a seven wins, five poles, 10 podiums and nine quickest race laps in a total of 32 Mazda Road To Indy presented by Cooper Tire starts 
  • O’Ward has been confirmed for a full season of Prototype Challenge Competition in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with Performance Tech Racing. Although his Indy Lights deal is for only the first event (that’s how his Pro Mazda deal began last year as well), we’d be remiss not to take a look at Indy Lights conflicts with IMSA. The only direct conflict between the two schedules occurs when Indy Lights is at Iowa Speedway (July 8-9) and IMSA is at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. 
  • O’Ward’s addition for the Streets of St. Petersburg, will bring that entry list up to 15 cars. 
  • You can follow O’Ward on the following social media channels: TwitterInstagram, and Facebook