Carlin's Serralles battles to second in Toronto
 July 16, 2016| 
  • Team News

The Toronto street circuit provided an exciting opening race of the weekend this afternoon, in the Indy Lights Series presented by Cooper Tires. Felix Serralles recovered from a tricky start to claim a well fought second place at the flag, while Ed Jones retains the championship lead after taking points for sixth. Neil Alberico suffered bad luck when a fight for position during a re-start left the Californian in the wall. 

With the customary Indy Lights rolling start even more tricky around the tight and twisting Toronto street circuit, Serralles did well initially to hold his second place starting position. The Puerto Rican found himself squeezed by Santiago Urrutia however and to avoid heavy contact, had to brake and consequently dropped to fourth just ahead of team mate Jones in fifth. Alberico had also endured a difficult start and was running 13th. 

Desperate to make up positions, Serralles wasted no time in mounting an attack on Urrutia for third, and after several laps almost attached to the Schmidt Peterson driver's gearbox, Serralles found a way through on lap eight. 

Jones meanwhile was finding himself under attack from Kyle Kaiser, with Kaiser relegating the Carlin man to sixth and into the path of Zach Claman de Mello.  De Mello's progress was soon halted however, when he was the innocent victim of an incident involving Juan Piedrahita which put both out of the race and brought out the first full course yellow. 

That incident put Dean Stoneman right up behind Jones, and the Andretti driver claimed sixth from Jones as the green flag was shown.  Alberico meanwhile was involved in his own battle, putting Dalton Kellett under pressure for position. The Indy Lights rookie went up the inside at turn two to take the position, but Kellett closed the door leaving Alberico in the wall and out of the race. 

Near the front Serralles was still pushing on, determined to pass Zach Veach and claim back his second place. The Iowa race winner duly did so, with an impressive move around the outside of the Belardi driver, and set off in search of race leader Felix Rosenqvist. Having run out of push to pass opportunities, Serralles closed quickly on Rosenqvist, but wasn’t able to make the pass, and claimed second at the chequered flag.  Jones, claimed sixth after a last lap departure for Veach, to maintain a lead in the championship.  

After his win in Iowa and second this afternoon in Toronto, Serralles also moves into championship contention, having closed the gap to the top three of Jones, Stoneman and Urrutia.  

Speaking about his race, Serralles said, “It was a shame that I had the contact from Santi [Urrutia] into turn one as I had to take a wide line and avoid what would have been a much bigger accident, so that lost me a couple of positions.  I used all my push to passes to get past Santi and Veach, so by the time I closed in on Felix I didn’t have much left.  

My team manager had said to me before the race to think about the championship and if I was in a good position not to risk too much, so I did think about that towards the end of the race.  It’s good to take away a second after the win in Iowa.” 

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