2017 Year in Review: Cabot Bigham
FINISH: 10th in Supercar points
2017 RESULTS: 10 starts, best finish 4th, 3 heat wins, 473 points
2016 RESULTS: 11 starts, 2 wins, 5 podiums, 452 points (Lites)
THE GOOD: Jumping into a Supercar after only a single season in GRC Lites, Bigham parlayed his 2016 championship into Patrik Sandell’s old seat at Bryan Herta Rallysport. After a few rounds of adjusting to the faster, more powerful cars, the Californian took his first heat victory in Ottawa to wrap up the first half of the year, and added two more heat wins in Indianapolis and Atlantic City.
Lessons learned throughout the year became fully established in the Los Angeles finale, however, as Bigham put in his most solid performance of the season. A year after a spirited drive from last to first in the Lites finale enabled him to take the title by a single finishing position, he placed second in his semifinal and ran in the top three for most of the main event before finally conceding to fourth place. It was still his best result of the season.
THE BAD: Unfortunately, Bigham had to sacrifice two rounds of the championship along the way in 2017, yielding his ride to Austin Cindric in the Seattle doubleheader. While he admitted to learning plenty by taking in a Supercar race weekend from different angles, including stints in the PA booth, giving up the pair of races also relegated him to 10th in the championship almost by default.
Prior to that, New England likely stood out as one of Bigham’s most disappointing weekends of the season. Taking place a short drive from Weston, MA, where he spent much of his childhood, Bigham was a local favorite at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park; however, he only placed eighth in Saturday’s final, and missed Sunday’s final after incidents in the semifinal with a tire barrier and other competitors.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “I think that being able to step back from the stresses of the weekend and really being able to see what GRC is all about, scheduling, and how drivers adapt, was very valuable to me. Previously, every time I’d gone to a GRC race weekend, the only thing I had known was being a driver, and naturally those stresses really do take their toll.
“I’ve already planned for a lot of driving throughout the off-season, so my main concern now is just to get all the right guys onboard, get the funding squared away, and then make sure I can continue to plan testing opportunities for the winter. Being in the car between races is incredibly important.”
2018 PROGNOSIS: With his acclimation year out of the way, Bigham’s Los Angeles results foreshadow a much more consistent and competitive 2018 season.
Photo credit: Louis Yio