Pocono Indy Lights: Gabby Chaves takes fourth win of 2014
|By Mark Glendenning||Saturday, July 5th 2014, 20:45 GMT|
Gabby Chaves claimed an emphatic victory ahead of main title rival Zach Veach in Saturday's Indy Lights race at Pocono.
The Colombian was disappointed to qualify in fourth in what he felt was the fastest car in the field, but he more than made up when it counted by streaking away from Veach over the second half of the race to win by 7.7s.
Over the final couple of laps, polesitter Veach's concerns had switched from what was happened ahead of him to what was happening immediately behind. With just 10 laps to run, Jack Harvey cut what had been a 1.1s gap in half, and he managed to get within 0.3s of the Andretti driver.
But Veach was able to see off the threat to secure second, thereby keeping his points loss to Chaves to a minimum, while Harvey was forced to settle for third.
The Briton's place on the podium was earned through a combination of smart driving and a couple of strokes of good fortune. During the first eight laps, the position had been held by Luiz Razia, but his participation in the race ended with a heavy single-car crash in Turn 3.
That promoted Matthew Brabham into third during the subsequent caution period, but he ran into problems of his own when he slowed suddenly through Turn 3 just after the restart.
That cost him two places, and while he managed to recover one of them almost immediately, he never regained contact with the leaders and spent the final phase of the race keeping Juan Pablo Garcia in check.
A final scare for Harvey came when his Schmidt team-mate Juan Piedrahita was forced to pit to replace a thrashed rear tyre, however the Briton was ultimately spared of a similar catastrophe.
Results - 40 laps: Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Gabby Chaves Belardi 36m52.6583s 2. Zach Veach Andretti +7.7028s 3. Jack Harvey Schmidt +8.0261s 4. Matthew Brabham Andretti +16.5870s 5. Juan Pablo Garcia Schmidt +17.0090s 6. Scott Anderson Fan Force +42.9200 7. Juan Piedrahita Schmidt -2 laps Retirements: Luiz Razia Schmidt 6 laps