Jones and Serralles take a Carlin 1-2 at Barber
 April 24, 2016| 
  • Team News

Ed Jones took his first win of the 2016 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires season today, with a stunning run to victory despite pressure from team mate Felix Serralles who made his way through the field to take second.  There was little to separate the duo for the majority of the race, but at the flag it was Jones who took victory ahead of Serralles at Barber Motorsports Park.  Team mate Neil Alberico struggled to recover from a challenging start on the notoriously difficult to overtake circuit and crossed the line 12th.  

Leading the field for today’s customary rolling start, Jones had to complete on additional lap after second placed man Dean Stoneman appeared to stall on the green flag lap.  With Stoneman sent to the back of the grid, Jones had RC Enerson alongside for the start.  Jones made a good getaway while behind him Enerson and Shelby Blackstock made contact in the fight for second, giving the Carlin man some breathing space at the front. 

Behind the leaders, Serralles had already moved up to seventh place and was pushing the recovering Blackstock for sixth. Alberico meanwhile was 15th after a difficult start.  Serralles passed Blackstock for sixth on lap three while Alberico had also made up a place. 

Serralles and Alberico made up one further place on lap four when Rosenqvist was forced off track, putting Serralles within touching distance of a podium position in fifth.  With the racing neutralised while Rosenqvist’s car was recovered, Jones lost the gap he had pulled at the front.  Serralles and Alberico were about to make up one further place though, as Santiago Urrutia was served a drive through penalty from third for the Rosenqvist incident, which put Serralles into fourth.

Jones controlled the restart perfectly to pull away, while behind him Enerson and Hargrove were fighting for second.  Serralles made sure he was right with them, and when Enerson ran wide Serralles made the most of the opportunity to take third and a few corners later passed Hargrove for second.  

The remainder of the race saw the four lead cars pull away from the rest of the field, with the gap between Jones and Serralles close enough to keep the leader under pressure and pulses on the pit wall high.  A move by Serralles in the final laps was the closest Jones came to having to defend his lead, but the Puerto Rican ran wide at turn 17 and Jones held the advantage to take his first victory of the season.  Serralles followed to take the team’s second ever 1-2 Indy Lights finish, a repeat of Max Chilton and Jones’ achievement in Iowa last season.  

“It’s a fantastic result for myself and the team,” said Jones.  “We’ve been working so hard and it’s been so long since we had a win so it’s great to be back at the top and long may it continue.  Felix was pushing me hard and I had to be careful to look after my Cooper Tires but the push to pass was really effective and I was able to use it when I saw him getting too close.  It was a bit of a chess game.  It’s a great result for the team today.” 

Team mate Serralles added, “I started P12 after having my fastest lap taken away in qualifying so to finish second feels pretty good.  I was so angry before the start I told myself I was going to finish on the podium.  It was really difficult to overtake though.  I saved one push to pass for the last lap but I ran a bit wide.  But I was pushing hard; I wanted to win. Having said that, second is all right from where we started.”

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