IndyLights: Dubai’s Ed Jones fights back to take Championship lead at Indianapolis
Indianapolis, Saturday, 9th May 2015-Ed Jones took a hard-fought third place podium in the first Indy Lights race of the weekend on the historic 2.439-mile Indianapolis Grand Prix Circuit. After setting the fastest time in practice and starting from pole, the second race would see Jones getting side-swiped on the rear tyre which spun him into turn one, leaving him at the back of the field and having to fight through the pack to gain a fourth place finish, enough to re-claim his lead in the championship.
Jones podium on Friday was made all the more outstanding as during the race, due technical gremlins, the Carlin team cars had no ‘push to pass’ function which can be used upto 10 times per race and boost the 450bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged cars by 50bhp for 20second bursts, offering about half a second advantage per lap time.
After a strong qualifying session and with a disappointing race without Push to Pass on Friday, Jones and Chilton were in a confident mood as they lined up with Jones on Pole and team mate Max Chilton in third on the grid. However ambitions were soon dashed when Jones was jumped off the start by Sean Rayhall and shortly after was tapped into a spin by Jack Harvey. Close behind, Chilton had to take avoiding action to miss his team mate, losing several positions himself. Managing to recover, Jones found himself at the back of the field with Chilton in ninth as the field pulled away ahead of them.
Determined to make the most of their pace though, Jones started a long comeback, gradually making his way through the field. After making quick progress, showing strong pace, Jones was making progress but were quickly running out of laps to make up further positions. A fourth place was enough to see Jones re take the championhsip lead with 166 pts over nearest rival Harvey on 162 pts.
Jones said, “Unfortunately this weekend we have had two results really compromised by factors outside our control. Therefore we still have to take away the positives; that we have come out leading the championship with the potential to win many more races.”
Speaking about his race, Chilton said, “I had an ok start but I couldn’t do anything different when shortly after I had to take action to avoid Ed which lost me a lot of positions. Today though I really felt confident with my race pace and I knew I could still get a result. I was stuck behind Kaiser for a few laps but did a big launch past and we were just setting quick lap after quick lap after that. In a way it’s a frustrating end to the weekend because I think with this pace, if we’d had Push to Pass yesterday we could have come away with two really strong results.”
The next race for Ed will be round 8 on May 21-22nd at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2.5ml oval as support race for the Indy500.