Carlin: Jones Takes Victory on Indianapolis GP Circuit
 May 14, 2016| 
  • Team News

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Ed Jones took Carlin's third Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires win of the season this afternoon in the Mazda Indy Lights Grand Prix of Indianapolis Presented by Cooper Tires. The championship leader started from pole and led for the duration of the race with the exception of a dramatic few corners in the final laps. Team mate Felix Serralles endured a luckless outing, taking seventh at the flag after earlier challenging for third. It was also a tough race for Neil Alberico; the Rising Star Racing driver recovered to 11th despite pitting with a puncture on lap one after receiving contact.

As the action got underway this afternoon Jones controlled the start well to keep the lead from second placed starter Felix Rosenqvist who quickly dropped back. Serralles meanwhile was challenging for P3 but was pushed wide and lost a handful of places in the first few corners. As that incident boxed up to field, Alberico also received contact, forcing the American racer to pit with a puncture.

By lap seven, Jones had just over a second gap to second placed man Dean Stoneman, although the Brit was keeping the Carlin man well in sight.

Behind the leaders Serralles was involved in a close battle for fifth with Zach Veach. After several laps Serralles took the position on lap 11, with Rosenqvist his next target. Having pitted for a replacement tyre, Alberico was a lap down but matching the pace of the top six.

Despite his frustrations, Serralles was making fast progress, setting the fastest lap of the race so far and closing in on the leading four. Ahead of him Rosenqvist was closing on Santiago Urrutia, which allowed Serralles to close in further as the duo battled.

Contact between Scott Hargrove and Scott Anderson caused a full course yellow, with the field bunched up behind the safety car. Jones saw his lead evaporate, while Serralles was suddenly right with the front four.

At the restart, Jones lost out as Stoneman and Urrutia ran three wide with Stoneman taking the lead and Urrutia also finding a way through. Jones wasn't about to give up his lead though - the Carlin man made an opportunistic move round the outside to take his lead back a few corners later. Serralles was well in the fight for third but ran wide on the marbles and maintained fifth.

At the front Jones became the first repeat winner of the 2016 season and extended his championship lead. A last lap effort from Serralles to pass Rosenqvist led to the Carlin man taking to the escape road and crossing the line seventh, while Alberico was 11th despite his early pit stop.

Speaking about his victory, Jones said, "After the restart it was always going to be difficult. I think everyone had push to pass and suddenly I was in the middle; I had to avoid the crash - it could have taken all three of us out. It was frustrating to be down in third after all the work I'd put in, but I stayed patient; this season is about consistency and not taking unnecessary risks. The opportunity came to take the lead back and I took it. The team have done a fantastic job so far this weekend, I can't thank them enough. I’m looking forward to race two tomorrow."

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