By Christopher DeHarde, IndyCar & Road to Indy Writer
After running the 2015 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda season for Team Pelfrey, the only Russian on the Mazda Road to Indy went to Cape Motorsports for the 2016 season before stepping up and coming home for 2017.
Nikita Lastochkin has signed with Team Pelfrey to drive their No. 80 car in the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires to complete the team’s assault for their third consecutive Pro Mazda championship trophy.
Tuesday’s announcement marks the eighth driver confirmation for the 2017 Pro Mazda season. Pro Mazda has been hampered by a low car count the last two seasons but with the last year of the current chassis/engine combination and the condensed schedule, a season’s effort would cost less.
“To be back with Team Pelfrey means being back with the same people that I started my career with and I am very excited,” said Lastochkin. “The goal would be to focus on our strengths, keep working on the areas we can improve and let the results take care of themselves. Overall, I’m just happy to be back on the Mazda Road to Indy and looking forward to the year ahead.”
Lastochkin actually drove for Team Pelfrey back in F1600 in 2014 alongside that years’ champion Ayla Agren, who rejoins the Pelfrey squad in 2017 for their USF2000 squad.