Briton Jones Remains Unbeaten in Three Indy Lights Starts
 April 22, 2015| 
  • Series News
All Three Levels of the Mazda Road to Indy on Deck in Alabama

PALMETTO, Fla. - After splitting their resources the past couple of weeks, all three series which comprise the acclaimed Mazda Road to Indy - Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda - will join together again this coming weekend in support of the Verizon IndyCar Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. Two rounds will be held for each series on the picturesque and challenging 2.3-mile, 17-turn road course.

The Mazda Road to Indy is a proven driver development "ladder" which guides drivers all the way from the grassroots of the sport to the Verizon IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500, with scholarship packages to assist in the graduation to each level.

Sean Rayhall to Make Indy Lights Debut with 8Star Motorsports
The names of Ed Jones and his Carlin team might not have been especially well known in North America prior to the start of the season, but they have certainly made their presence felt by claiming three straight victories with the exciting new Dallara IL-15 chassis powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged Mazda MZR-R engine. Jones, who was born and still is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and carries British citizenship, dominated the opening two races on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., then scored again this past Sunday in Long Beach, Calif., when he profited from an incident between two of the top three qualifiers at the first corner. Jones won the 2013 European F3 Open series title and was a podium finisher last year in the more senior FIA European Formula 3 Championship despite missing a portion of the season due to injury.

Jones' team, Carlin, shares that 100 percent record, which isn't all that surprising considering its record in European open-wheel racing. The team has won multiple championships in a variety of different categories and can boast current F1 drivers Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Daniel Kvyat among its alumni.

Teammate Max Chilton, who has raced in F1 the past two seasons, hasn't enjoyed much luck in the opening three races, but did mark his ability by rising from 10th on the grid (following an incident in qualifying) to fifth at Long Beach.

Spencer Pigot, from Orlando, Fla., also has shone for Juncos Racing. Pigot, 21, earned a Mazda scholarship after winning the 2014 Pro Mazda Championship and has finished on the podium in each of his first three Indy Lights races. In addition to securing three straight RePlay XD Move of the Race Awards, Pigot has a stout pedigree at Barber, winning three of four Pro Mazda races at the venue last year.

Teammate Kyle Kaiser, from Santa Clara, Calif., will be looking to bounce back from an unfortunate mistake at Long Beach where, after qualifying a fine third, he also took out the polesitter and pre-season championship favorite Jack Harvey (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian) at the first corner. Harvey, 22, from Lincoln, England, only lost out on the 2014 Indy Lights title due to a tie-breaker after claiming the same number of points (547) and wins (four) as champion Gabby Chaves, who this year has graduated to IndyCar with Bryan Herta Autosport.

Other contenders to watch will include Puerto Rico's Felix Serralles, who set the fastest lap on Sunday at Long Beach for the defending champion team Belardi Auto Racing and scored his first podium of the season, and young talent RC Enerson (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports), who claimed a career-best finish of fourth in Long Beach and won the pair of USF2000 races at Barber last year.

Sports car talent Sean Rayhall will also be on the radar as he makes his Indy Lights debut with 8Star Motorsports. Rayhall, 20, from Atlanta, Ga., is part of the 8Star Motorsports Driver Development Program. His success with the team includes the 2013 IMSA Cooper Tires Prototype Lites title and multiple wins and podiums in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Prototype Challenge class.

The weekend will begin with two half-hour practice sessions on Friday, April 24, at 8:45 a.m. and 12:55 p.m., followed by qualifying later in the afternoon at 4:00 p.m. A 40-minute Race One for the Legacy Indy Lights 100 will start on Saturday afternoon at 2:50 p.m., and the one-hour Race Two "feature" event on Sunday, April 26, will take place at 12:10 p.m., immediately before the Verizon IndyCar Series headline event.  All times are local. Live timing and commentary for all sessions will be available on the new Mazda Road to Indy App and at indylights.com.
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