Phoenix, Arizona, Sunday 3rd 2016 – Ed Jones took second place in the first oval race of the 2016 Indy Lights Series today. The Carlin man started and finished second despite keeping the pressure on eventual race winner Kyle Kaiser. St Pete race winner Felix Serralles took points for seventh while Neil Alberico took ninth place in his first Indy Lights oval outing.
After a close qualifying session, today’s oval race at Phoenix Raceway was always going to be a close affair. As the top Carlin starter, Jones was closest to pole man Kaiser in his second placed grid slot, while Serralles started fifth and Alberico 10th.
At the second attempt the field got away for a chaotic rolling, with on-board footage showing the pace car still on track as Serralles came down low. Forced to back off slightly Serralles lost a place and dropped to sixth while Alberico had made up one place and was ninth.
Jones meanwhile was circulating in second place, keeping the gap to Kaiser to around a second. Alberico made up another place to eighth after Zach Claman De Melo dropped down the order.
Racing was neutralised by yellows after the car of Heamin Choi was left stranded on track after an apparent puncture. When the track went green again both Serralles and Alberico lost out, the duo overtaken by Stoneman and Veach respectively and were left running in seventh and ninth.
At the front Jones remained second, a position he would keep to the chequered flag to earn his first podium of the season.
Speaking about his race, Jones said, “I think Kyle went a bit early at the start, but he’s the pole man so he can decide when to go! The race was progressive; the leader set the pace, and there wasn’t as much degradation as we’d expected, so it was hard to close up. I expected to catch the backmarkers more, but the yellow in the mid of the race stopped that, I think without that it would have been a very exciting race. To come away with second is a good result though. What we want to do is be as consistent possible. We aim to win but when you can’t do that you’ve just got to be up there scoring big points.”
The Indy Lights drivers will be back out in action from 22 – 24 April at Barber Motorsports Park, Alabama.