Mansfield, OH – August 1, 2015 – RC Enerson earned the pole position and his first Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires victory for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports (SPM) on Saturday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car course.
The 18-year-old, Florida native had more than a two-second lead over second place when he crossed the finish line.
“I wanted to get a good start and see where things shook out after the first couple of corners,” said Enerson. “Once I was in the lead, it was kind of easy to look forward, to push for better lap times and focus on what I was doing, rather than have to worry about what people in front of me were doing. It’s much easier to lead!
“This is a tough track for restarts, as close as the start stand is to the final corner, so I tried to find a place to go to power where no one else could. I needed to get far enough ahead so Max wouldn’t be able to attack going into the first few turns, and I was able to do that. I was really planning for this to be a learning year, so I’m very happy to get this first win for the team!”
Enerson’s teammates Scott Anderson, Jack Harvey and Ethan Ringel finished seventh, eleventh and twelfth, respectively.
Harvey, the current Indy Lights championship points leader, was taken out by contact early in the first lap of the race. His crew was able to get the car fixed and back out on track, and the 22-year-old, British driver was able to hold on to his points lead.
After the Indy Lights race, SPM Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Ryan Briscoe and James Jakes took to the track to qualify for Sunday’s Honda Indy 200.
Jakes qualified eighth in his group and will start Sunday’s race in 17th.
“It was a disappointing qualifying session,” said Jakes. “The No. 7 MediaTech Oculus car was good and I think we would’ve easily made it into the next group. We kind of got hosed by the checkered flag because we just needed that extra lap. It’s disappointing because we’ve shown good pace all weekend and we’ve been putting it together nicely. We just didn’t execute but we’ll move on and hopefully have a good race tomorrow.”
Teammate Briscoe was tenth in his group and will start 20th on Sunday.
“This was the first time I ran the reds this year and I don’t think we were expecting a balance shift,” said Briscoe. “I just picked up a ton of understeer in the No. 5 Arrow Electronics car and I think we were probably a bit over-pressured on the tires. Once I started hurting the front tires, they just dropped off, big time. That just really hurt us. With it being so competitive out there, I just wasn’t able to make the lap time that we needed to advance.”
On Sunday, Indy Lights will run the second race of the double-header weekend. The 65-lap race will take place at 10:30-11:35 a.m. ET. That afternoon, the Verizon IndyCar Series takes to the track for the Honda Indy 200. Fans can catch the 90-lap race action live on CNBC from 1:30-4 p.m. ET.