2017 Mid-Season Review: Cabot Bigham
STATS (through 6 of 12 rounds): 9th in Supercar points (261), best finish 6th, 1 heat win
POSITIVES: The defending GRC Lites champion landed with a top team for 2017, as he replaced Patrik Sandell at Bryan Herta Rallysport in his first season in a Supercar. Not only is Bigham outranking the driver he replaced in the championship standings, he’s also already got his first heat victory under his belt: after coming close to pulling it off in New England, Bigham grabbed the top spot in Heat 2A in the first leg of the Ottawa doubleheader.
“The first race of the season is always difficult,” Bigham explained of the process so far. “You come into it, especially as a rookie coming to a higher class, with a lot of unknowns. There’s only so much I can do to curb that nervousness. After racing in Memphis and getting those crazy wheel to wheel shots with Chris (Atkinson), I feel a lot more comfortable.”
NEGATIVES: While Bigham received plenty of praise for his drive in the Memphis final, it was mostly for his management of a tough situation: after taking on damage before the restart, he chose to move to the back of the grid to avoid getting in the way of faster cars. His patience and perseverance were rewarded with a sixth place finish as multiple other drivers took DNFs.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment, though, came in New England. Bigham, who grew up in Weston, Massachusetts, had a strong contingent of hometown support backing him, and took two runner-up heat finishes in the doubleheader. But after hitting a tire barrier that had landed on the course head-on on Sunday, Bigham did not compete in the second main event of the weekend.
OUTLOOK: The Supercar field is a lot harder to carve out wins and podiums in than even GRC Lites. Driver skill is what took Bigham to the top there, and as he continues to adapt to the additional horsepower, it’s what will keep moving him forward here. BHRS is one of the youngest teams on the grid, both behind the wheel and in the paddock; while it takes time to gain experience, this is a race-winning organization that will aim high as the year continues.
Photo credit: Louis Yio