Max Chilton took his first Indy Lights victory this afternoon and led home a Carlin 1-2 at the Iowa Speedway as Ed Jones took a strong second place to bolster his championship campaign. Chilton led for the majority of the race, only relinquishing the lead briefly to team mate Jones while in traffic.
Both Chilton and Jones made the perfect rolling start as the race got underway while behind there were several changes for position. While it was close at the front, with just a second covering Chilton, Jones and third placed man RC Enerson, the Carlin men never really looked under any intense pressure.
As the lap numbers clocked up, Chilton held a steady advantage at the front, just over one second ahead of Jones who in turn was just over two and a half seconds ahead of Enerson. One significant change of position came at the half way point when Jones took the lead from Chilton on lap 50, after the leader found himself caught up behind Felix Serralles who was a lap behind. With Jones now leading, Serralles was still proving hard to pass and the pace only increased again once Serralles visited the pits.
After Serralles took to the pits, the top five were almost nose to tail, while Chilton had stayed close to his team mate. Pushing hard, Chilton took the lead back on lap 64 and he and Jones were able to pull away almost immediately from Enerson.
The racing was neutralised with a full course yellow but when the track went green again on lap 73, Chilton once again made the perfect start with Jones close behind in second. The team mates continued in that formation to the chequered flag, with Chilton taking victory by 6.1 seconds and Jones a comfortable 4.9 seconds ahead of Enerson who completed the podium.
A delighted Chilton said, “It was simply perfect. The team gave me the car to do it. I had a tricky 10 laps or so in the middle of the race when I got frustrated by traffic, but I know Ed experienced the same. I managed to take the lead again and the car was just great. I’d like to thank the team for all their work and once again this is dedicated to Jules as I know he would have driven the perfect race.”
Second placed man Jones commented, “I’m really pleased to take second, I think it shows how much me and the team have improved in our performance on the ovals. I thought maybe I had a chance at the win there for a few laps but Max was able to pass me. I was starting to pick up a slight vibration in the final few laps so I backed off a tiny bit, but I’m glad to have taken solid points for second place today.”
Trevor Carlin added, “I’m delighted for the drivers and the team, they have worked tirelessly to try and get a set up that works for the ovals and I think today proves that we’re getting there. I’m very pleased to see Max win, a victory he now adds to those in F3 and GP2 with the team. Obviously it’s also a good step forward for Ed in the championship as well. This definitely ranks up there in the team’s best victories.”