Carlin's Serralles takes stunning victory in Iowa
 July 11, 2016| 
  • Team News

Felix Serralles took Carlin’s second consecutive win at the Iowa Speedway in a thrilling Indy Lights race on a rain affected day of running.  Following a 1-2 finish for the team last year with Max Chilton and Ed Jones, Jones once again visited the podium and extended his championship lead with a third place. Neil Alberico enjoyed some close racing in the mid field and came home 11th.  

Following two practice sessions yesterday, rain interrupted an already tight Indy Lights schedule this morning, with qualifying cancelled due to rain falling over the Iowa Speedway.  For the second time this season, starting positions were set by championship order, with Jones consequently starting the Iowa Corn 100 from pole position with title rival Dean Stoneman alongside.  Serralles started from sixth place while Alberico lined up 12th.  

Jones made the most of his advantage at the start, managing to pull away while behind him Serralles was showing his potential, jumping up to third from his sixth place starting position, Alberico held 12th. 

With Jones able to break away, Serralles was in hot pursuit of Stoneman, staying close to the Andretti driver in the opening laps.  Alberico was also enjoying some close racing, passing Choi early on.  

After running close for several laps Serralles made his move and claimed second from Stoneman with just team mate Jones ahead.  Alberico meanwhile had passed Shelby Blackstock for 11th , with the close racing stretching throughout the pack.  

The first change for the lead came at just over the half way point, when Serralles passed Jones for P1, with Jones now second and Alberico 11th.  Jones dropped to third a few laps later after being passed by a charging Zach Veach.  

With 20 laps to go, Serralles still led, but Veach was looking fast and was putting the Carlin man under pressure.  The Belardi driver passed him in the final stages, putting the Carlin duo of Serralles and Jones second and third respectively, while Alberico had moved up to 10th.  

The drama continued into the final minutes, with the short Iowa Speedway throwing up plenty of challenges as the leaders lapped several cars.  With only one lap remaining, Veach and Serralles came to lap Alberico, and seeing a car widths gap between the two, Serralles seized the opportunity and stole through to pass Veach, who had taken the lower line.  

Just one lap later, it was Serralles who took the chequered flag first, claiming his second victory of the season, with team mate Jones making it a double Carlin podium in third and Alberico 11th. 

Speaking about his victory, Serralles said, “Obviously I’m really pleased.  It was unfortunate I lost the lead to Veach while we were lapping cars, but everyone was taking different lines; it was really challenging.  I knew we were quick though and I hunted him down.  When we were lapping Neil I saw a gap and went for it and fortunately we didn’t crash. 

“After winning in St Pete I’ve known I’ve had the speed all season, it’s just a case of putting it together with a bit of luck as well.”  

Extending his championship lead, Jones remarked, “This is a good result, particularly after being taken out in Road America, it’s good to be back on the podium.  The conditions were quite different this afternoon after the rain, I was really struggling with understeer, which meant I was struggling in traffic in particular, it was so hard to pass.  Lapping cars is a big part of the race here, but when there’s a pack of them, its easy to lose downforce and hit the wall.  I had a big gap back to fourth though and I was focused on holding that.  

“It was a great job by Felix and the team and hopefully we can do the same in Toronto.”  

The team will have just a few days to prepare for the next round of the season next weekend on the streets of Toronto.

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