Mid-Ohio Indy Lights: Rayhall wins for 8Star, Jones/Harvey collide
Indy Lights part-timer Sean Rayhall took the win in a spiteful second Indy Lights encounter at Mid-Ohio on Sunday
The 8Star racer, who scored his only previous Lights victory in his last outing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May, was the beneficiary of an overheated battle for the lead just ahead of him between Ed Jones and points leader Jack Harvey.
When those two eliminated themselves from contention, Rayhall capitalised to open a gap of around 2.5 seconds over the pursuing Max Chilton, although the Brit had cut that down to 0.9s by the end of the race.
The other big beneficiary of the Jones/Harvey shenanigans was Spencer Pigot, who enjoyed a relatively straightforward run to third ahead of Saturday's winner RC Enerson.
But Jones and Harvey were the story of the race. Jones jumped ahead of polesitter Harvey at the green flag with a move that was investigated and then cleared by race control.
From there though, things only became more heated. Harvey never let Jones escape, but his two most concerted attempts to recapture the lead were met with some robust defending from the Carlin driver.
The pair made light contact early in the race, then did it properly second time around when Jones responded to Harvey's probing by chopping across and breaking his front wing.
That sent Harvey into the pits for repairs and Jones into the pits for a drive-through, and although they resumed their battle when they returned to the track, they were now reduced to squabbling over ninth place.
"There has been no consistency in terms of penalties," said an unhappy Harvey, who had an incident with Pigot in race one.
"I'd like to have seen [Jones handed] a penalty for the first block, a penalty for jumping the start ... I don't know what this series has to do to give out penalties when they are deserved.
"The other drivers have made this weekend ... it's not even hard work. It's dirty."
Jones, however, was unrepentant.
"I had to win this race to stay in the hunt for he championship," he said.
"Harvey was fast and he got a few runs on me and but he was never going to make the corner.
"He hit me from behind twice.
"It wasn't the ideal result for me, but I'm still in the hunt for the championship and Harvey is a lot worse off.
"Given the chance, I'd do everything exactly the same."
Both drivers were invited to race control after the chequered flag.
RESULTS - 38 LAPS:
|1||Sean Rayhall||8Star Motorsports||47m45.7083s|
|3||Spencer Pigot||Juncos Racing||2.5773s|
|4||R.C. Enerson||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||3.1858s|
|5||Felix Serralles||Belardi Auto Racing||13.0747s|
|6||Shelby Blackstock||Andretti Autosport||16.7412s|
|7||Ethan Ringel||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||36.0946s|
|8||Scott Anderson||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||45.5278s|
|10||Jack Harvey||Schmidt Peterson Motorsports||1m15.7638s|
|11||Kyle Kaiser||Juncos Racing||3 Laps|
|12||Juan Piedrahita||Belardi Auto Racing||Contact|
|15||Nelson Piquet Jr.||28|
Mid-Ohio Indy Lights: Enerson wins, title rivals Harvey/Pigot clash
Laguna Seca Indy Lights: Max Chilton claims pole for opening race