Long Beach Indy Lights: Ed Jones and Carlin still unbeaten
Ed Jones kept up his strong start to the Indy Lights season with a hard-fought win in Long Beach on Sunday
The Carlin rookie had started from fourth, and gained a couple of early places almost immediately when Kyle Kaiser torpedoed pole sitter Jack Harvey at the first corner.
Jones then capitalised on a slow restart from Felix Serralles to take the lead and quickly opened a gap, only for the field to close back up to him during another caution period.
While all that was going on, Spencer Pigot had been working his way up from his starting position of fifth to second, setting up a battle for the lead that lasted right through to the end of the race.
Pigot was able to close up on the Carlin car in the corners, only to watch it disappear again on the long straights.
He never got quite close enough to try anything, and Jones went on to take the win by 0.6 seconds.
"We worked really hard throughout the weekend," said Jones.
"On Friday we weren't so quick but we made progress all the time.
"In the race I don't think we had the pace of Spencer, so I think we did a good job to make the most of what we could.
"The start was key to making up positions. The last part of the race was about not making any mistakes but also pushing really hard."
Serralles completed the podium, and was pleased with the result after narrowly escaping the accident at the start.
"Everyone was a bit close," he said. "I was deciding whether to go left or right, and luckily I went right."
That crash put Kaiser out of the race on the spot, while Harvey was only able to continue after losing five laps in the pits having his rear wing replaced.
His fortunes did not improve after he rejoined: an attempt to pass Juan Piedrahita ended with the Brit's car buried in the tyre wall.
It was also a tough morning for Shelby Blackstock, who lost vast amounts of time in the pits having a mechanical problem, and for Matthew Brabham, whose Andretti car broke down out on the track.
Ex-Formula 1 racer Max Chilton could only finish fifth after his qualifying mistake.
RESULTS - 42 LAPS:
|2||Spencer Pigot||Juncos Racing||0.6131s|
|3||Felix Serralles||Belardi Auto Racing||1.8268s|
|4||R.C. Enerson||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||12.5778s|
|6||Scott Anderson||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||16.6730s|
|7||Ethan Ringel||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||29.4882s|
|8||Juan Piedrahita||Belardi Auto Racing||5 Laps|
|9||Shelby Blackstock||Andretti Autosport||9 Laps|
|10||Jack Harvey||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||Contact|
|11||Matthew Brabham||Andretti Autosport||Mechanical|
|12||Kyle Kaiser||Juncos Racing||Contact|
Long Beach Indy Lights: Jack Harvey grabs pole for Schmidt
Ex-F1 racer Max Chilton unsure over Carlin Indy Lights campaign