Jones makes it a hat-trick at Long Beach
 April 19, 2015| 
  • Team News

Carlin’s Ed Jones took his third victory in as many starts in today’s Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires race in Long Beach, California. The rookie started from fourth on the grid, but a first corner accident for pole sitter Jack Harvey, Kyle Kaiser and Spencer Pigot allowed Jones to take second and then the lead – which he maintained to the chequered flag despite pressure from the recovering Pigot. Max Chilton climbed up to fifth place from 10th after hitting the wall in qualifying.   

Following a front row lock out for the Carlin drivers last time out in St Petersburg, Jones and Chilton were left with more work to do today as the only Indy Lights race of the weekend got underway.   Starting from fourth on the grid, Jones had three cars ahead of him as opposed to clear track. Chilton meanwhile, who had just touched the wall while pushing hard in qualifying yesterday, had to sit out the majority of qualifying and therefore started 10th. 

Making the customary rolling start, the field formed well in a two by two formation with Jack Harvey leading the field across the line. Only seconds later though, a three car tangle involving Harvey, Pigot and Kaiser caused chaos, with Jones somehow making his way through unscathed although behind Felix Serralles who was now leading. 

With the safety car now neutralising the racing action, Jones was second while Chilton had also managed to stay clear of accidents and was seventh from his tenth place grid slot. After a couple of laps, the green flag was shown again and racing was underway. Jones wasted no time in attacking Serralles for the lead, snatching first place straight away despite some wheel to wheel action with Serralles who tried to fight back. 

By lap 17, Jones still led the pack, while Chilton had made up more places and was fifth. While the Carlin driver held onto the lead, there was a change of position behind as Serralles was passed by a charging Pigot who took second place, three seconds behind Jones. 

Another incident brought out the yellows once again which bunched up the field and reduced Jones’ advantage to nothing. At the restart, Jones was under attack from Pigot with the duo wheel to wheel for several corners. Pigot in fact would keep Jones under pressure for the duration of the race, but Jones drove faultlessly to maintain his position. 

Chilton who has yet been able to show his potential in race trim, was fifth at the flag while Jones went on to take Carlin’s third Indy Lights win. 

Speaking after the race Jones said, “It was a close race and the tyres were starting to go off and I think I touched the wall a couple of times but I had to push that hard as Spencer [Pigot] was so close behind me. You can’t always be fastest at every circuit but you’ve got to be ready to make the most of every opportunity and I think we did that today.”

The Indy Lights team head straight to Alabama for the third event of the season at the Barber Motorsports Park.

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