Prior to the second Legacy Indy Lights 100, I was able to chat with Geoff Fickling, who is the race engineer current championship points leader Ed Jones. The second generation race engineer said they did make some changes to the car overnight, but understandably wouldn’t give me specifics. Fickling said that he thought the biggest issue is that Jones has been sick and running a fever all weekend. I saw Ed pre-race and he said that he wasn’t felling a whole lot better today. Fickling said this was a weekend where they had to limit the damage before trying to get things back on track at the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
The 12 car Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tire field rolled off for the 35 lap Legacy Indy Lights 100 at exactly 12:10pm. And after two pace laps, it was yesterday’s winner Spencer Pigot who led the six rows of Mazda powered Dallaras to the green flag.
Jones, who started the race in the third spot appeared to run the No. 18 wide and was than hit in the left right rear by Kaiser who started the race in fourth. Jones No. 11 suffered a tire puncture and he was swarmed by the drivers in the 4th through10th positions on the run between Turn 4 and 5. He missed his braking point and rolled through the gravel trap before getting back on track and rolling slowly around the 2.3 mile, 17 Turn Barber Motorsports Park to the pits for a new right rear.
Jones was able to rejoin at the tail end of the lead lap. Kaiser began to fall back as well, suffering front wing damage in the contact. He was forced to pit and able to rejoin one lap down.
I was able to talk to both drivers after the race. Jones said that Kaiser just hit him in the right rear. Predictably, Kaiser has a different take. He said they went into the turn side-by-side and he didn’t think Jones gave him enough room.
Steve’s take. It was a simple first lap racing incident.
On the second lap rookie Belardi Auto Racing driver and sophomore SPM with Curb-Agajanian driver Scott Anderson waged an great battle for fourth. The two drivers were able to go cleanly through Turns 1 through Turn 5 side-by-side before Seralles came out on top.
Up front Pigot was able to build a four second gap over Harvey, while Chitlon tired to narrow the gap to his fellow Englishman. Chilton was forced to give up his pursuit of the No. 42 when Seralles narrowed the gap to the final podium position.
Further back in the field, Anderson, Enerson and Rayhall formed a three car train fighting for the fifth position.
By lap 10, Pigot’s lead over Harvey had steadied to 4.5 seconds, with the best battle on the track being the one for sixth between the No. 7 of RC Enerson and the No. 8 of Sean Rayhall.
Kaiser was stopped on track, and while he was able to get the No. 18 retired he pulled out just in front of Jones, who was turning quick laps just in front of leader Pigot in an effort to stay on the lead lap. Jones checked up which allowed Pigot to quickly catch Jones. Pigot tried a move on Jones into Turn 17, but the Emerati driver closed the door and the two made left front to right rear contact.
After the race, the first thing I asked Pigot was whether his crew told him to back off and his answer was affirmative. The Kaiser/Pigot/Jones incident did temporarily allow Harvey to close the gap between the two drivers to only 2.5 seconds on Lap 15.
Back in the pack the fighting for position continued with Seralles stalking Chilton and Rayhal putting pressure on Enerson.
On lap 25 the No. 4 of Puerto-Rican rookie Seralles was putting tremendous pressure on Chilton who locked up his right front going into Turn 2.
After pressuring Enerson for 27 laps, Rayhall was finally able to get by the 18 year-old rookie and quick too off in pursuit of the No. 77 SPM with Curb-Agajanian machine of Scott Anderson.
By lap 30 Pigot was able to rebuild a gap of 6.3 seconds to Harvey, who had a cushion of 1.2 seconds between himself and Chilton.
The final five laps continued to see Serralles hound Chilton, but the F3 grad was unable to take the top step of the podium away from the F1 alum. This is Chilton’s first Indy Lights podium in the first
Pigot took his second consecutive Indy Lights victory and has now stood on the podium in all five races this season. He has also taken the points lead over Jones, who ended up staying on the lead lap, but came home eleventh.
After the race, Chilton explained that they were lacking speed early in the weekend and that they made a big change this morning that did help.
I was able to Confirm with Chilton that he would be taking part in the Indy Lights races at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and that he really wanted to experience the oval.
This was Chilton’s first Indy Lights podium.
Harvey admitted that they had nothing for Spencer and Juncos this weekend and said that he was looking forward to the “Month of May.”
Pigot explained that the car was perfect off the trailer and that it doesn’t happen that often and you need to take advantage of it when it does.
The final running order was
1. Spencer Pigot
2. Jack Harvey
3. Max Chilton
4. Felix Serralles
5. Scott Anderson
6. Sean Rayhall
7. RC Enerson
8 Juan Piedrahita
9. Ethan Ringel
10. Shelby Blackstock
11. Ed Jones
12. Kyle Kaiser
The Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tire series is back on track again in two weeks for the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis.