Indy Lights Toronto: Spencer Pigot wins, Nelson Piquet taken out
Spencer Pigot held off Jack Harvey to win the first of this weekend's two Indy Lights races in Toronto, although the afternoon will be remembered for a massive accident involving Nelson Piquet and RC Enerson
Piquet led away from pole position, but he was under increasing pressure from Enerson after the first dozen laps. Enerson got close enough to try a move in Turn 3, but he misjudged it and hit Piquet's left-rear wheel with his front-right.
The impact launched Enerson's car vertically into the air and into the catch fencing, whereupon it bounced back onto the track and slid into an escape road upside down, eventually crashing into - and flipping over - a tyre barrier.
Safety personnel were on the scene immediately, and Enerson was able to walk away from the wreckage unassisted. Enerson's Schmidt team has already confirmed that the car is too badly damaged to take the race two start on Sunday.
"Obviously the driver behind was a bit quicker; I don't think we had the pace we were expecting," said Piquet, who was also eliminated from the race in the accident.
"I was just trying to hold my position. He outbraked himself at the end of the straight and there was nothing I could do.
"Young kids, they get a bit aggressive, but it's OK."
VIDEO: ENERSON/PIQUET CRASH
The crash brought out the red flags to allow for the debris to be cleared and the barriers to be repaired, and when the race finally restarted, Pigot - who was in P3 at the time of the accident - had been promoted into the lead.
Harvey had the job of leading the pursuit after the restart, but while the Brit was able to reel Pigot in, he was never able to get quite close enough to try a move.
"Definitely very happy," said Pigot. "First and foremost though I'm very happy that RC is OK - that was a very scary crash to witness.
"The car was great. Before the yellow we were really catching the leaders.
"It was a great race and I think we're on pole tomorrow, so hopefully we can do the same.
"It feels great to be back on top and catching up on the points."
Felix Serralles secured the final podium spot after an entertaining battle for third.
He'd been hunting down Carlin's Ed Jones, and took the place when Jones tripped over himself trying to defend and dropped back to last.
His one consolation was that 'last' in this case meant sixth: of the 11 starters, two were eliminated in an opening-lap accident, and Ethan Ringel dropped out with a mechanical problem just after the Enerson/Piquet crash.
RESULTS - 34 LAPS:
|1||Spencer Pigot||Juncos Racing||45m47.4571s|
|2||Jack Harvey||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||0.6815s|
|3||Kyle Kaiser||Juncos Racing||11.1340s|
|4||Shelby Blackstock||Andretti Autosport||19.9934s|
|6||Ethan Ringel||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Mechanical|
|7||Nelson Piquet Jr.||Carlin||Contact|
|8||R.C. Enerson||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Contact|
|9||Scott Anderson||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Contact|
|10||Juan Piedrahita||Belardi Auto Racing||Contact|
|11||Felix Serralles||Belardi Auto Racing||4.7089s|
Toronto Indy Lights: Ex-F1 racer Nelson Piquet Jr on pole on debut
Indy Lights Toronto: Spencer Pigot wins, Nelson Piquet hit again