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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30 minutes ago


"I've beaten two legends: Rossi in Texas and Marquez today" - Alex Rins

Here his reaction after his impressive last corner win yesterday! 🏆

#BritishGP 🇬🇧
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A fantastic rider with an amazing machine!!! Congratulations Álex Rins!!!

So, MM can be beaten at his own game. Every dog has its day.

Credit where it's due, great ride. The Suzuki is where Yamaha should be.

A superb race Alex. Once more, Congratulations. You certainly deserve them. A remarkable finish and fight till the finish line. This is what Moto GP should be all about. Great job 😉

Spectacular effort, congratulations on an awesome win.

What happened to all the fans that said MotoGP is boring?

And the coverage kept showing the yamaha pit why

During the race Rin's was definitely by far the better rider💪🏼+ the bike Suzuki performed well under pressure 🔥..



Love this guy so honest not like MM93


What an honest guy. It must feel great to defeat two of the greatest legends the MotoGP has to offer

Epic in the last corner... Bravo Alex 🏆


Masa I follow markes td,I rasa motor dia tak la laju mane pun..sebab lepas potong rossi terus I cucuk angin motor dia..hahaha



Great race to watch. Great win by Rins.

42 golĺll

Good job Alex rin 42, anak bayi tidak ada apa2 nya😅😅

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13 hrs ago


Which team has impressed you most so far in 2019? ... See Less

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I'm a Mercedes fan but have to say McLaren have done an amazing job this year considering their performance over the last few years.

I would say Williams for the most reliability and focused pit crew. They're only left to improve on pace.

Good to see that McLaren is performing well. I'm sure the team's ability to improve will be remarkable with every race from now on.

Must say McLaren, with the team spirit that they have, and results they managed to achieve... Definitely my favourites this season.

Williams have had the worst start to an F1 team in history. And I think with their tiny budget and willpower, the amount they’ve improved is impressive. They’re still far behind but I hope to see them fighting for podiums in 2021

McLaren. Consistent development and improvement over the season so far. Alfa Romeo has been somewhat of a surprise also.

Being on top is one thing but staying at the top is the art of the game. Kudos to Mercedes for getting it right so far.... #WeMakeItLookEasy

I’m super impressed with Toro Rosso, hard to believe this is the old Minardi team where both their drivers exceeded all expectations!!

I would say McLaren even though I'm team Hamilton

Redbull and Honda engineering. The aerodynamic has been sorted and the engine now also reliable. Watch that space, they could challenge for the title next year!

I think the fact that Kimi drags that 8th place car into the points is the most impressive

Ferrari fan for life, but McLaren have done an incredible job so far, considering how far back they were

McLaren (and I'm faraway from being a fan! If there was a person I didn't like in Formula 1, that person was Ron Dennis). Anyway I'm glad to see them finally getting together again and mainly without supposed big shot drivers who can't do nothing but complain! Now they need to find a good engine because with Renault it will be near impossible to go any further...

None the sport is finished and I've followed the sport since the early 80s

Mclaren, they have made a huge turn around this season. With andreas seidl at the helm, the only place they re going is up

And yet no Ferrari or anyone else 1st with the exception of RB. Hybrid era is killing with the beyond dominance of Merc being so far ahead of everyone else’s pace. Some competition would be nice! Don’t give me that bullshit of everyone should bring it to the table, there’s some crazy advantage behind the scene that you Merc fanboys don’t know about. Yawn.

Hi F1 and fans .... with all the media attention to the envirement and green thinking etc etc etc. Is there a research or developement posted in any magizine about the developemt of how clean the F1 is today. We all know that all top research of F1 is implemented in the modern cars but i like to read how clean F1 is now in 2019 .. 👍

the gap between top three teams and the rest is too much

McLaren is the most impressive.. Mercedes just has luck week after week.. Hoping Ferrari will get their things together for the second half..

Haas, they have surprised me on how bad they are this year. Compared to last year this year has been terrible. They were fighting Renault for top of the mid pack, this year they are fighting for points at all.

Red Bull / HONDA‼️ Young Max may be awesome, but so is the way Red Bull has adapted to Honda’s engine. The last 2 years of griping about the Renault power plant is (almost) justified...

It would be nice to see Mclaren back up there permanently fighting for the title. Always was a fan

Quite a gap between 3rd and 4th also between 10th and racing cars.

Williams been sandbagging the first half of the season just to give the others a glimp of hope, beast mode on in second half of the season

Mclaren And Williams 0 dnf not so many points but reliability is very good

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18 hrs ago


The crash 💥 The surprise 😱 The battle ⚔️

Spa treated us to a scintillating race last season ⚡️
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I can't wait for next weekend. Spa always produces some awesome action

That Vettel move was such a good sign and made so much hope for the title in 2018, but then horror began and continued until today 😞 I hope that Vettel will win at least one of the next two races, maybe the last chances this year

The circuit spa is amazing..

Leclerc was lucky with the halo there. Things could have ended very badly.. Also, the 4 car moment at the end of the first sector was amazing👌

I was there with my sons. Last years

Counting the days and hours for the arrival of the weekend. It is impressive, the spectacles provided in this SPA GP!

I remember this race.The best thing was Ocon almost overtook Vettal overtaking Hamilton. Ocon has to sit in the Mercedes at some point in the future.

What a race! Hoping for the same again next week 👍

Was that the very last time Vettel won a race? Wow an entire year has gone by.

Going to be interesting this year, couple nice long almost straights that Ferrari can hopefully lay down the power, those midrange corners that Red Bull look so comfortable going through at high speed, than the tighter sections that Mercedes just seems to find seconds on other cars, needless to say either Ferrari or Red Bull let the Mercedes go and that’s race over, but Charles or Max get in front of Lewis it’s going to be a great race

I have a feeling that the Ferraris will do it again. We will not hear the name verstappen so much this weekend.

Lets see next week if merc and redbull will match the straigth line speed of ferrari. Cant wait the qualifying and race on sunday.

Was a good race, hoping this yr will be just as good

I wanna know what LeClerc's thoughts process was as a McLaren flies over the top of him 😂

Clamoroso come Charlie Whiting aspettò che Vettel superasse Hamilton per dare il via alla Safety Car

Beyoncé would be proud of the Halo!

So the halo works。。👍🏼👍🏼

People cry about the halo but Charles had luck to have it.

What an overtake from Ferrari that was ...I missed the 2018's Ferrari ....not this SP90

This Race showed why the Halo Makes completly sense. Leclercs carrer could have Ended Right there

That's also why "even" Perez is a better racer than Ocon. My opinion. Look at the drag race after Eau Rouge coming up to Le Combes

Waited until Seb past Hamilton to safety car the race...who remembers this🤦🏾‍♂️🤔

Was there watching sat in the stadium right on that corner, exciting stuff!

Only one week to go, before lights out!

According to the Finnish media, Mercedes is gonna announce Bottas staying for 1 more year.

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