IndyLights: Jones takes second place at Watkins Glen as title fight goes down to the wire
Saturday, 3rd September 2016- Carlin’s Ed Jones ensured the title fight for the 2016 Indy Lights Series remains well and truly alive today, taking second place at Watkins Glen International Circuit. In a chaotic race which was characterised by high tyre wear, Jones closed the gap to main championship rival Santiago Urrutia, with just one point separating the two with one event remaining in the 2016 Indy Lights Series presented by Cooper Tires.
Team mate Felix Serralles’ championship campaign took a hit after he suffered huge misfortune after hitting debris on lap one which resulted in a puncture and unscheduled pit stop. The Puerta Rican did a fantastic job to recover back to seventh place.
As today’s rolling start got underway first time round, Jones found himself with nowhere to go, after a fast starting Zach Veach catapulted his way into second place. Jones, who initially dropped back to fourth, later recovered to third right behind main championship rival Urrutia.
Serralles meanwhile had little chance to stake his claim on the race, having to pit at the end of lap one which immeadiately put him at the back of the field. Jones was closing the gap to Urrutia, with a fast closing Andre Negrao behind the Carlin man.
Jones perfectly managed the pressure from Negrao behind and passed Urrutia ahead to claim second, although leader Veach was someway ahead. Alberico too was looking to make progress, briefly running wide as he tried to pass Dean Stoneman. The American made the move stick a few laps later though, claiming fifth place and setting off in pursuit of Kyle Kaiser.
Next to pass Stoneman was the recovering Serralles, who put in a determined effort to claw his way back through the field in his newly branded SAP car. At the chequered flag, Jones claimed second, Alberico fifth and Serralles seventh.
Speaking about his race, Jones said, “This is a good result after Santi [Urrutia] held us up in qualifying. We had a fast race car. Veach had a good start and hats off to him for building a gap while we were stuck behind. This race was quite different to what we’re used to in terms of degradation. Tyre wear definitely brought in a different element today. It’s good to be back in the championship hunt with a strong second place.”
With one event remaining, Jones lies second in the championship, one point behind Urrutia, with Serralles fifth, but still in contention and Alberico 12th. The drivers won’t need to wait long for the season conclusion, with the double header finale taking place at Laguna Seca next weekend.