Vancouver, B.C. – Fresh off winning the 2013 USF2000 Championship with Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing, Scott was eager to continue to work with the Capes and they decided to move up together to the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires, both team and driver rookies. The decision proved to be inspired, resulting in the Rookie of the Year and Second Place in both the Driver and Team Championships. The battle for the championship came down to a hair’s breadth between only two contenders.
In the Pre-Season Cooper Tires Winterfest series, Scott finished second with one win to his credit. The regular season began at St. Petersburg, and with no data or testing on a street circuit Scott and the team was happy to bring home a third and a fifth-place finish. The series moved to Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama where Scott won his first pole and brought home two second-place finishes. Veteran Spencer Pigot had won all four races to date and had built up a commanding 44-point lead in the series (30 points are awarded for a win).
Everything changed at the Indianapolis Road Course in early May. Scott broke through for two pivotal wins and reduced the deficit to only eight points. At this juncture it was clear that the championship was down to just Scott and Spencer. A gutsy drive to second place on the oval at the Lucas Oil Raceway the night before the Indianapolis 500 reduced the deficit to only three points.
Race One of the Houston Grand Prix was the craziest race of the year. Accidental contact with another driver resulted in a drive-through penalty for Scott and then the rain came. At first only half the course was wet with tricky driving on slick tires followed by a downpour over the whole course and a switch to rain tires. The race came down to a four-lap dash to the finish with Scott having recovered to fourth place. An absolutely inspired drive through to the lead saw Scott take his third win of the season and take over the points lead. This was followed the next day by an unfortunate first-lap crash and resulting retirement from Race Two to hand the points lead back to Pigot.
Mid-Ohio saw Scott make the podium in Race Two, resulting in a small drop in the points deficit. At the Milwaukee Mile it was again the Scott and Spencer show with both drivers leading 44 laps and Spencer just surviving a late race restart to take the win over Scott. Scott would come into the final weekend of the season just 19 points behind in the championship.
Hard racing in the first race at Sonoma saw Scott and Spencer make contact racing for the lead going up the hill to Turn Two. Scott survived the contact and came home in third place to retake the points lead by the narrow margin of two points. In the final race of the season, Scott started from the pole, led all the laps, turned the fastest lap of the race and had the championship firmly in his grasp, only to suffer a gearbox failure with three laps left to run and he was forced to retire, ceding the points lead and the championship to Spencer, finishing second in the championship and winning Rookie of the Year honors!
The statistics are impressive; In 14 races, Scott had three pole positions, four fastest laps, three wins, an average finishing position of 4.6 (2.6 if the two DNF races are removed). Scott led 22 percent of all the laps for the season and visited the podium 10 times, more than any other driver in the series. He finished 59 points ahead of third place; equivalent to just under two full race wins, no one else came even close.
Scott enthused: “2014 has been an incredible year for me. To be in contention for the championship in the final round is an honor considering the talent level in the series. Being a rookie driver in the series and with a rookie team meant we had to work harder and longer to achieve our goals. There were many late nights and early mornings, all of which were worth it given the success we achieved! Massive thanks to Nicholas and Dominic Cape and the whole Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing organization. Thanks to MAZDASPEED, Andersen Promotions, Analytic Systems, RaceEnergy, Bell, Polen Designs and OMP for their amazing support all year and I can’t wait to see what next year brings!”
For 2015 Scott is actively seeking partners who will benefit from the exceptional media exposure (including same-day TV race coverage with NBC Sports in the US and Worldwide, and TSN in Canada) to move up to Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, just one level below The Verizon Indycar Series. The Freedom 100 race runs at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway a couple of days before the Indy 500, producing some of the best open-wheel oval racing anywhere for the past several years in a row.
In addition to an impressive Pro Mazda season, Scott Hargrove has been recognized by the Toronto Sun as one of the “Top 5 Under 20 Prospects in Racing!”
For more information about Scott Hargrove, visit his website at www.scotthargrove.com and keep up to date via Twitter @Scott_Hargrove and Facebook at ScottHargroveMotorsports.