IndyCar: Jones endures tricky weekend after lengthy first lap red flag and damaged car hampers progress

IndyCar: Jones endures tricky weekend after lengthy first lap red flag and damaged car hampers progress

Pocono Raceway is known in Verizon IndyCar Series circles as the ‘Tricky Triangle’ due to its challenging and unforgiving nature, and for Ed Jones, it more than lived up to that notorious moniker last weekend (18/19 August), as misfortune denied the talented young Dubai, UAE-born ace a strong finish.

Competing for Chip Ganassi Racing in his sophomore season at the pinnacle of US open-wheel competition, Jones has been consistently on the pace in 2018 but all-too-often out of luck behind the wheel of his 720bhp Dallara-Honda single-seater – and Pocono would serve up a similar story.

The unique, 2.5-mile triangular Pennsylvania oval played host to the 14th round of the campaign, and the former Indy Lights Champion and reigning IndyCar ‘Rookie of the Year’ overcame understeer to lap at an average speed of 216.547mph in qualifying, thereby putting the No.10 NTT DATA entry 12th on the grid amongst the 22 high-calibre contenders for Sunday’s ABC Supply 500.

That placed Jones ahead of the likes of championship-leading team-mate Scott Dixon, Tony Kanaan – the most experienced driver in the current field – and oval specialist Ed Carpenter, and right behind 2017 pole-sitter Takuma Sato.

A long, punishing, 200-lap race lay in wait – although nobody could have predicted just how punishing it would be. A start-line collision towards the back of the pack instantly precipitated a full course caution, and at the second attempt to get proceedings underway, contact between Robert Wickens and Ryan Hunter-Reay sent the former spinning through the air and into the catch-fencing, bringing out the red flags.

Thankfully extricated from his car awake and alert, the Canadian was subsequently airlifted to hospital, where he is being treated for injuries to his lower extremities, right arm and spine as well as a pulmonary contusion.

Following a two-hour delay, Jones was due to take the re-start from eighth position, but he was immediately forced to pit to allow the Ganassi crew to replace his front wing and repair damage caused by debris from the accident. With teams not permitted to work on the cars under red flag conditions, the setback cost the 23-year-old Brit a lap in relation to the vast majority of his rivals, leaving him down in 15th and playing catch-up throughout.

Thereafter, he was routinely one of the quickest drivers on the circuit and ultimately regained three places to cross the chequered flag 12th, with a late charge bringing him to within a second of the driver ahead in 11th. A better fastest lap than four-time title-holder and erstwhile Pocono winner Dixon – who eventually finished third – proved Jones’ potential and what might have been.

The result nonetheless elevated the 2013 European F3 Open Champion a spot in the overall standings as he switches his focus now to the next outing on the fiercely-disputed IndyCar schedule – the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 at Illionois’ Gateway Motorsports Park on Saturday, 25 August.

“Pocono is one of the toughest ovals you’re ever going to encounter,” reflected Jones, who is being coached this year by multiple IndyCar Champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti. “It’s nicknamed the ‘Tricky Triangle’, which really sums it up and I was looking forward to the challenge – especially after two weekends away from the track.

“You’re always a little disappointed when you don’t line up near the front of the grid, but both CGR cars struggled a bit in qualifying – and with the final practice session being rained off, we didn’t get a lot of pre-race track time over the weekend, which limited the improvements we could make to the NTT DATA entry.

“The start of the race was pretty crazy, but we made it through. Obviously, we sat and waited for a while after the accident and it was great to hear the positive news on Robert [Wickens]. We picked up some damage and had to make repairs when we got going again. We went laps down after that, and from there just tried to adjust the NTT DATA car the best we could to get the most out of it.”

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2 hrs ago

F1

Highlights from an action-packed brawl on the streets of Monte Carlo 💪 ... See Less

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The thing about Gutiérrez is to consult with his psychologist, that the damages are not activated does not mean that you drive without respect, you cannot put the car where it does not fit, fantastic boot race, it was not the best circuit to debut in a virtual race and if He is not caught in the accident, he would have been in the top 3, I hope he dared to participate again, Lecler very clean.

Gutierrez should play E roulette tonight. He hit everything else in Monaco, odds are he will hit his number or color as well

Turning damage off was a big mistake. Just became intentional wall riding for most. It somewhat disconnects risk and reward.

Some shocking driving there. And people wonder why very few take it seriously. Crank damage up to 100% and let's see them

Gutierrez is an absolute jerk and shouldn't be allowed to participate! He should go to a fair in Mexico and drive bumper cars...

Hey F1. You should have a night race at Monte Carlo and just add lights. I think it would be pretty cool.

Good for a laugh, it would be like competitive louge.

No damage is just horrible, full of punts and wallriding

Oh this virtual thing is just lost. Loss of value in material, society and spirit. But who would compare?..

Action? Come on guys, activate damages, they are real drivers!

“He wants to play bumper car or something” - everyone to Gutierrez - 2020

I feels like watching mini4WD series using barrier to turn lol Fun to watch, in not F1-serious like

Esteban Gutierrez driving was just shameful. I realize it's a video game... but even for a video game his driving was stupid.

No damage is bullshit. Grow up.

If they had damage on, only Russell would have finished the race 😀

All I watched and wondering now 🤦🏻‍♂️

So many people complaining, don't watch if it's so repulsive to you.

Must put damage on... it is a carnage going on there!

F1 needs a no damage mode 😂

These have been great, hope they continue!!

Gutiérrez torpedoed everyone Pastor will be proud of him

Esteban Gutierez just enjoying the map like Mario Kart 😂

Damage was needed to make it feel a bit more realistic

Call this whatever you want... but not a race

ill never complain about GT sport's online again

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4 hrs ago

F1

A mini-epic 🍿Alex Albon and Arthur Leclerc fight for P4 in the closing laps of Sunday's Virtual Monaco Grand Prix 👏 ... See Less

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Gutierrez ruined the race outcome. I expect that kinda bumper cars from nascar. I’d why I quit that series. Altho it sounds like it pleased some folks. Well, there’s always the real thing, and bikes. flat track, moto, and. Enduro’s. Something for everybody. Hope the next one is cleaner.

I would loooooove to get relevant F1 news without fantasy races and fluff. Is there a F1 page just for that? I realize everyone is struggling to stay relevant but fantasy racing is not what I signed up for.

Another Ferrari driver who can't handle being passed

More exiting than real F1.. says enough!

Glad they made titanium front wings and sidepods.

Good old Karting move 👍

Never seen such racing in Monaco.

Turn on damages. What a mess it look like kids driving today ...

turn damage on so we can really have fun watching drivers survive monaco.

Is that Blackpool GP coz they drive like they were on the Dodgems?!

He went through where Max couldn't get past Hamilton last season

It looks fake and it is...multiple collisions, no damage, no nothing. It’s just not interesting.

Enough of this. Bring back the real deal

😮👏🏻 Good luck

I think they should have had damage on

Super unrealistic...

The fact these guys race with no damage is sad.

Turn on the damage

Gutierrez is the Pagenaud of F1

Do people look at this crap really only stockcar racing

100% Prost v Senna

In real life that's a 10 sec penalty God I love these virtual races

Súper real los golpes que se dan y siguen como si nada...👏🏼👏🏼

Isso pq vcs não viram o que fizeram em romrom17 .com hilariante!

Si los duelos en monaco fuera asi en vida real, no me quiero imaginar las demas carreras jaja

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5 hrs ago

F1

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Not watched this rubbish. They need to do a kind of battle royale style event where everyone has damage on, except kyviat and the last person to be torpedoed wins.

Bad luck for Charles on that point. Two years ago breaks failure and now this😂

Why are some people so angry on this thread because wheels didn't fly off a virtual car? Lockdown really hitting hard 😂

No damage... It's just a laugh that you need the settings for 5 year olds...

Honestly what Esteban today did was dirty... unacceptable, was watching Marcel Kiefer's stream and he was raging and swearing!

Just get to real racing already. This virtual racing wore out a month ago. NASCAR has started and IndyCar starts June 6th.

These clips only remind me how barren my life is without F1 lol. I can't find any enthusiasm for these Mario Kart races.

😐 c'mon now...turn on damage and get all the F1 drivers involved. Have your "celebrity" races elsewhere. ½points for virtual races and add them to whatever is earned when the actual season resumes.

Can we get a full contact death match mode with weapons please? Please!

Someone appears to have driven through Leclercs car, ghostlike, as if made of ectoplasm...

You have overdone it with the "virtual" grand Prixs.I am a gamer and a FORMULA 1 fan myself but just the marketing exaggeration and promotion of all these tends to become boring, at least for those who spend a lot of time with pure Formula 1 things.Even the the E-league was better organized...

If they're going to play a game with ridiculous physics and no damage, why don't they just play Call of Duty. That's about as close to real war as this F1 game is to car racing.

Alright, it's funny if everyone agrees to go full Mario Kart mode. Not if a couple decides to torpedoe everyone while the rest is actually trying ro race. Either implement some set of rules or just switch to Mario Kart for this series. It was funny, now it's just ridiculous.

What no damage. That the whole point of f1

Leclerc and Monaco is just not a good combination.

What a load of sh*te this is honest. May as well watch them all playing mario cart. Utterly pointless.

Here for all the ItS nOt ReAlIsTiC comments. No kidding, it's a video game.

The handling on the Codemasters games will always be rubbish, far from realistic, useless.

Get a grip ya whining bastards! Yes, there's a bit of overzealous driving...so what! It's a bit of fun and at least a little entertainment for us while there's no real F1.

it was the worst virtual gp please turn on damage

Les mecs ils jouent sans les dégâts...trop la honte serieux quand nous on jouent en réel

also Esteban seems to be like five years child who chrashing into everything

They really need to mount guns and oil slicks and mix things up. 😜

Wow he even crash in virtual race.

N'importe quoi et croire que les gens regardent ça . Je suis très fan et je regarde autant de grand prix que possible mais a regarder des gamins joué Dsl

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9 hrs ago

MotoGP

An emotional day for all involved as Tatsuki Suzuki handed SIC 58 Squadra CORSE victory at the circuit named after the late Marco Simoncelli ❤️

Relive the highlights from the #SanMarinoGP! 🇸🇲
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What an emotional race. Amazing.

Refunds???????

Dominik Leder

en ik ook

Fatima Benard segundo 35 cuando voy conduciendo y me envías un mensaje

Ricardo Blokzijl Nathalie Blokzijl, dat weekendje gaat jammer genoeg dit jaar niet door

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9 hrs ago

24H Series

Yesterday during the 12H MONZA, Munckhof Racing powered by No Fear Energy Drink and Ciceley Motorsport side by side during the race! 🏎️💥

#thisisendurance #24hseries #24hseries2020 #motorsport #12hmonza #racing #iracing #esports
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Yesterday during the 12H MONZA, Munckhof Racing powered by No Fear Energy Drink and Ciceley Motorsport side by side during the race! 🏎️💥

#thisisendurance #24HSERIES #24HSERIES2020 #motorsport #12HMONZA #racing #iracing #esports

9 hrs ago

MotoGP

How does Valentino Rossi VR46 Official describe himself? 🤔
Does he like pineapple on a pizza? 🍍🍕
What's his favourite #MotoMonster Energy Yamaha MotoGPhis and more about the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP rider in our Quick Fire questions ⁉️
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Optimistic in 2018 to enjoying my soft pizza from bridgestone with mayonaise in the beach at sunset with coffee and gain cardio of my dogs just to funny 😆😆✌️

Gotta love that guy! 🤣 what if your cat finds out about that dog mishap?? 🙈 Also: pineapple on pizza is THE BEST! I’m sorry but it’s true 😝

Looking forward to racing again . You look really good , relaxed & happy. You will always be No 1 . ❤ One kiss x

Valentino looks like he needs that beard filling makeup pen that’s all the target on FB

Ahhhh - I got all of these right (except the mayonnaise on pizza but that’s definitely more acceptable than pineapple 🤢). Always makes me smile 😊 x

Vale you are really Amazing!!!! Good luck!!! We Love ❤💛 YOU!!!!

Always smiling our Vale !! and of course optimistic. I love him 🥰. I hope to see you soon on the track. 😉

My Boy, and no pineapple, I'm allergic. XX

Like the longer hair, not the beard... You can shave, you don't need the barber for that....

Only you were allowed to switch the tyres from Michelin to Bridgestone.. What a shame!

Maybe they should do this for all the riders????

FFS!! Enough of the fan-boy shite MotoGP!! 🤬 Let's see something about other riders. You have 82 others to choose from!

Mayonnaise on a pizza? In Italy? It must be an Uccio thing, there's no other explanation... 🤣🤣🤣

Pizza with mayonnaise??????

Hahahaha "forbidden." #pineappledoesnotbelongonpizza

T-shirt salesman

rossi: mayo pizza cooks: WHAT A GENIUS he must be 200+ iq

I love this guy...

Hello mester Rossi we miss you, Go go go

Ah Vale!.. la pizza con la maionese proprio non si può sentire!!!!😱😱😱😱😱

Go put some beard

Legend. Forza

Che cazzo dici Vale? Mayonnaise su pizza? Perche no Vegemite?!? 🤣🤣🤙🤙

RETIRE already!!!!!!!!

Jamais de sous titre sur vos vidéos sa commence à être lourd

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