Telitz takes Pro Mazda title with dominant win
Aaron Telitz didn’t need to win Laguna Seca's third Pro Mazda race of the weekend in order to grab the crown, but a strong start and a hot pace broke the challenge, the tires and the heart of teammate Pato O’Ward.
Following their coming together in the weekend’s second race, there was inevitable controversy surrounding the Team Pelfrey title contenders, but there were no doubts about this one – Telitz was unstoppable. His sixth win never looked in doubt after the first four corners, and O’Ward was left to fend off Juncos Racing’s Nicolas Dapero and Will Owen.
It was a task the Mexican was equal to until the 21st of the 27-lap contest. Then, Owen slipped by Dapero at Turn 2 when the Argentinean teenager locked up his front tires, and immediately revealed his potential by zooming onto the tail of O’Ward, who locked up at the top of the Corkscrew and lost momentum.
Both Owen and Dapero elbowed O’Ward aside on the run into the final turn, and O’Ward fell away thereafter. Nico Jamin of Cape Motorsports and another Juncos car, that of Jake Parsons, demoted the Pelfrey car to sixth at the checkered flag.
It was a sad way for O’Ward’s title challenge to end after scoring seven wins this season, one more than champion Telitz. The 28-point deficit reflects Telitz’s vastly superior ability to make the best of the bad days this season, clocking seven other podium finishes. O’Ward backed up his seven victories with just two other podiums.
Title contenders’ first-lap clash hands win to Dapero
Martin set to begin Pro Mazda testing in the US