2011 Firestone Indy Lights Thread

All about the IRL Indy Pro Series and the Atlantic Championship

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Guerrieri Wins At the Mile......

Postby mlittle » Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:07 am

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---WEST ALLIS, Wis. -- Esteban Guerrieri started from the pole in his Firestone Indy Lights debut at the St. Petersburg season opener and at Long Beach three weeks later. A runner-up finish on the scenic Long Beach circuit just wasn't satisfying for the 26-year-old Colombian. Neither was second place in the Firestone Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in which he charged from fifth in the No. 7 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car in his first oval race.

So the victory from the pole position in the David Hobbs 100 at the Milwaukee Mile quenched his thirst -- for now. "It wasn’t a big challenge, only on the start with Josef," Guerrieri said. "The car was really awesome for the whole race. We just had to keep going at the same pace. I’m really pleased for Sam Schmidt Motorsport and Lucas Oil. They make a big effort to bring the car to Victory Lane. This my first win so I’m really happy."

Guerrieri led every lap on the historic oval and led teammate Josef Newgarden across the start-finish line by 5.5012 seconds in becoming the fourth different winner in five races this season. He also closed the championship points gap on the front-running Newgarden to 14 entering the Sukup 100 at the Iowa Speedway on June 25.

Jorge Goncalvez advanced from the seventh starting position to finish third in the No. 4 Belardi Auto Racing Special -- his first podium and the team's first.

Bryan Clauson overtook the No. 2 TMR-Tuvacol-Xtreme Coil Drilling car of Gustavo Yacaman on Lap 87 to finish fourth. Clauson, competing in his second Firestone Indy Lights race, qualified third in the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/CURB Records/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car on a busy day at the track for the Noblesville, Ind., resident. He finished ninth in the USAC Silver Crown race and 16th in the USAC Mopar National Midget series race after starting third. He continues to lead the Midget standings.

Victor Carbone finished sixth, moving up four spots in the No. 3 Nevoni/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, and David Ostella was seventh in the No. 16 Global Precast Team Jensen entry. Stefan Wilson finished eighth in the No. 5 Andretti Autosport car.
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Postby mlittle » Sat Jun 25, 2011 3:19 pm

Current Firestone Indy Lights Top-10 Standings
Event: David Hobbs 100[rd.5 of 14]


1st} Josef Newgarden, 191 pts(2 wins)
2nd} Esteban Guerrieri, 178 pts(1 win)
3rd} Stefan Wilson, 145 pts
4th} Victor Garcia, 141 pts(1 win)
5th} Jorge Goncalves, 125 pts
6th} David Ostella, 121 pts
7th} Peter Dempsey, 119 pts
8th} Anders Krohn, 116 pts
9th} Gustavo Yacaman, 111 pts
10th} Conor Daly, 109 pts
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Guerrieri Takes Iowa Pole

Postby mlittle » Sat Jun 25, 2011 3:20 pm

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----NEWTON, Iowa -- Five days earlier, Esteban Guerrieri transformed a pole start at the Milwaukee Mile into his first Firestone Indy Lights victory. Of course, he's looking to make it two in a row. Guerrieri, the penultimate qualifier for the Sukup 100, topped provisional pole sitter Gustavo Yacaman with a two-lap average speed of 160.787 mph in the No. 7Lucas Oil Sam Schmidt Motorsports car to earn his fourth Sunoco Pole Award of the season. A Sam Schmidt Motorsports car will be making its fourth consecutive start from the pole.

"It is very important at this track to do the right thing in qualifying because it is difficult to overtake during the race," said Guerrieri, who has started on the front row in five of the six races. "We are in really good shape for tomorrow and I am pleased to start in the front. I was able to maximize the short amount of time I had on the track (one practice session), and that is basically what motorsports is in Europe. It is all about making the most of the little time you have on the track. I try to be accurate and visualize what my position on the track will be. This strategy has been working for me so far, but it wouldn’t work if I didn’t have a good car. I have to thank Sam Schmidt and the team because without them I couldn’t do it."

Yacaman (159.520 mph), driving the No. 2 TMR-Tuvacol-Xtreme Coil Drilling car, will be making his first front-row start. "It took me three years to get there, but I made it," said Yacaman, who is coming off a season-high fifth-place finish in the David Hobbs 100 after starting fourth. "We were the second car out and that didn’t help us because the track was very dirty from the USAC Silver Crown and Midget cars. When I was out there I was able to work my bars and my weightjacker enough to get a good lap.

"I think if we would have drawn something a little later we would have had a better run. I want to thank my team because this is my best qualifying attempt so far and this is the first time I am starting on the front row. I think we are looking good to run for pole position in the next few races. This is a really hard track to race on and I think we can get it done and hopefully get our first podium of the year and build momentum from there."

Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammates Bryan Clauson (159.434) in the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/Curb Records/SSM car and Josef Newgarden (159.408), driving the No. 11 Copart/Score Big/Robo-Pong/SSM car, will share Row 2.

Duarte Ferreira (career-best fifth) in the No. 28 Bryan Herta Autosport car and Victor Carbone, driving the No. 3 Nevoni/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, will be on the third row. Stefan Wilson (No. 5 Andretti Autosport car) and Brandon Wagner (No. 32 Davey Hamilton Racing) will be on Row 4 for the race on VERSUS (6:30 p.m. ET).

"After qualifying, I'm feeling a bit more confident in the car," said Wilson, who has started in the top five in three of the six races. "It's been two hard weekends, and it's been a real test for the whole team. But we're working hard to make it better. Without a teammate to work off of, it gives us an extra challenge. We're working to make some ground up, carry on and see if we can get back up there."
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Newgarden Wins In Iowa.....

Postby mlittle » Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:10 pm

(from 25 June 2011)


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---NEWTON, Iowa – Running third, Bryan Clauson set the fastest lap of the race on Lap 69 (20.120 seconds). Still running third, Clauson improved that to 20.090 seconds on Lap 82. Five laps later, he circled the .875-mile Iowa Speedway oval at a field-best 20.036 seconds.

Still, the driver of the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/CURB Records/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car was unable to gain valuable ground on Gustavo Yacaman and race leader Josef Newgarden (0.1422 of a second behind Yacaman on Lap 85). That’s how hooked up the cars in front were with 30 laps remaining in the Sukup 100.

Newgarden, who overtook pole sitter and Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammate Esteban Guerrieri on Lap 26, turned a 0.3574 of a second advantage into a 5.4724-second victory. Newgarden, earning his third victory of the season, improved his championship points lead from 13 to 46 over Guerrieri, who retired midway through the race with a mechanical issue (radiator) and was credited with 12th place.

"We put a really good, strong car together for that race," said Newgarden, who started fourth in the No. 11 Copart/Score Big/Robo-Pong/SSM car. "It felt so good I could go anywhere on the track, and that’s just a tribute to the team. I was so disappointed that we didn’t qualify a little bit better. At least we didn’t put ourselves too far back. We just came in with a conservative approach but still aggressive enough to get in the lead early on and just hold it all the way through. Great job by the Sam Schmidt Motorsports guys and everyone else that supports us."

Yacaman, driving the No. 2 TMR-Tuvacol-Xtreme Coil Drilling car, recorded a Firestone Indy Lights-best runner-up finish. Clauson, competing in his third Firestone Indy Lights oval race, was 5.8 seconds back but also finished a season-high third.

Until Lap 111, they also were hooked up – battling for second – never more than four-tenths of a second apart. “We didn’t give each other an inch and it was just good, hard racing,” said Clauson, who also competed in USAC Silver Crown and Midget races at Iowa Speedway this weekend. “We just didn’t have quite a good enough car to slip underneath (Yacaman). We were a little bit tight. We just didn’t have enough to finish the corner on the outside.

“It was a lot of fun. I threw everything I had at him, and I just didn’t have quite enough. I spent the last 40 laps trying to get a run and doing something. I tried high, I tried low, I tried diving under. I tried throwing everything I could at him, but just never got quite the run I needed to beat him off the corner and take the spot.”

Yacaman, 20, of Colombia, is competing in his third season in Firestone Indy Lights. His previous best was third at Toronto (where the series competes next) last July. “For the (Lap 6) restart, I just didn’t have the pace to keep up with Esteban and Newgarden was attacking me so he was able to get by,” said Yacaman, who announced he’ll compete the Rohto Ironman Miami 70.3 in October. “I stuck with Newgarden when he overtook Esteban, and he pulled me through. Then it basically was a battle for second with Bryan. We’ve worked so hard and we’ve had a good car so many times, so it’s good to capitalize on the equipment Mark Moore has given me.”

Victor Garcia, advanced eight positions to finish fourth in the No. 22 TMR-Xtreme Coil Drilling car, and Duarte Ferreira posted a season-best fifth place in the No. 28 Bryan Herta Autosport car. “The team won this race last year (with Sebastian Saavedra), and I knew in coming here that we would have a good car," Ferreira said. "The start was a little crazy but I was able to make up the positions that I lost. I want to thank everyone at BHA for the great job and my sponsors for supporting me.”
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Postby mlittle » Sat Jul 02, 2011 2:15 pm

Current Firestone Indy Lights Top-10 Standings
Event: Iowa 100[rd.6 of 14]


1st} Josef Newgarden, 243 pts(3 wins)
2nd} Esteban Guerrieri, 197 pts(1 win)
3rd} Victor Garcia, 173 pts(1 win)
4th} Stefan Wilson, 169 pts
5th} Jorge Goncalves, 153 pts
6th} Gustavo Yacaman, 151 pts
7th} David Ostella, 143 pts
8th} Anders Krohn, 135 pts
9th} Victor Carbone, 132 pts
10th} Duarte Ferreira, 131 pts
---Additional Wins: Conor Daly(1 win)
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Guerrieri On Point In Toronto........

Postby mlittle » Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:12 am

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----TORONTO -- No race car driver likes to see a yellow flag, especially when they're the culprit. On the 1.755-mile, 11-turn Exhibition Place circuit, Stefan Wilson was disappointed to see it displayed on his final lap.
Wilson, driving the No. 5 Andretti Autosport car, posted a lap of 1 minute, 2.8714 seconds, which would have been good enough for his first Firestone Indy Lights pole. But the lap was nullified because of a local caution (a driver can't improve their time with a yellow flag being displayed on the course).

So Wilson, who set the quickest time a lap earlier (1:03.2450), had to settle for a front-row start (tying his highest from Watkins Glen in 2010).
"It was my first pole, and I pushed it so hard and I knew it was between me and Esteban," said Wilson, the only driver to be running at the finish in all six races. "We had been close all weekend, and I felt like I got the best out of it and pushed it to the limit. It felt amazing, the car felt good and we were just getting quicker every lap and made some really good changes over the weekend. It’s just heartbreaking to get that taken away."

Esteban Guerrieri earned his third consecutive Sunoco Pole Award, blazing the temporary street circuit in 1 minute, 2.986 seconds on his 26th (with 40 seconds left in the 45-minute session) of 27 laps. It will be the fifth pole start of the season for Guerrieri, driver of the No. 7 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car.

He won at Milwaukee to close the championship points gap to front-runner Josef Newgarden, but gave back points with a 12th-place finish at Iowa two weeks ago because of a mechanical issue. He's 46 points back entering the 50-lap race.

"Since the beginning, everything worked quite well," he said. "We were quick (July 8) and we saved the tires for qualifying this morning. I love the circuit, I love the city, the atmosphere, everything, so I had a lot of fun. The reward for the guys is the best I can give them, so I’m very grateful to them and to my sponsors."

Wilson's teammate, Peter Dempsey, who topped the morning practice session time report in the No. 26 car, will join Anders Krohn, driver of the No. 9 Liberty Engineering Racing Special for Belardi Auto Racing, on the second row. It's a season high for Krohn.

"With it being my first weekend with the team, I was hoping to be on pole and I pushed too hard," Dempsey said. "We definitely have two great cars, so it's a good job done by the whole team. We're still in a great position to start the day off tomorrow."

Newgarden, driving the No. 11 Copart/Score Big/Robo-Pong/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, will join Gustavo Yacaman in the No. 2 TMR-Tuvacol/Xtreme Coil Drillnig car on Row 3. "You are going to have to be very calculated here in the race," said Newgarden, who won the season opener on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., among his three victories. "It’s a very difficult track with all the bumps and how narrow it is. Guys can easily overstep it and certainly make the wrong decision at times. It’s going to be a difficult time for everyone to keep a cool head early on and make good decisions throughout the day.”

Bryan Herta Autosport's Duarte Ferreira and Bruno Andrade will share Row 4. Andrade is making his Firestone Indy Lights debut.
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Wilson Wins At Toronto.........

Postby mlittle » Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:42 pm

Image
.....well, Stefan Wilson anyway......

---TORONTO -- It's a good bet that Stefan Wilson's first Firestone Indy Lights victory took away the sting of not earning the Sunoco Pole Award on the 1.755-mile, 11-turn Exhibition Place circuit a day earlier.
Wilson, competing in his 24th race in the series, led a 1-2 Andretti Autosport sweep in the Toronto 100 on the temporary street course. Peter Dempsey, participating in his first race with the team, was runner-up under caution for an incident on Lap 45 of 50.

Wilson appeared to have set the quickest lap of the 45-minute qualifying session July 9, but it was nullified because it was recorded with a local caution flag flying for a stalled car. It would have been his first pole start in the series. So he settled for his second front-row start, and seized the opportunity when pole sitter and race leader Esteban Guerrieri's No. 7 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car spun on the concrete surface (the transition from asphalt to concrete) in Turn 3 on a restart. Guerrieri pointed the car in the clockwise direction, but six cars got through before he rejoined the race.

"It's really a monkey off my back," Wilson said. "We were pushing Estaban hard those first five laps. The car was fast; I'm confident we would have been able to pass him even if he didn't make that mistake. From that point on, it was just about concentrating on hitting marks and getting some clean, quick lap times.

"I love this circuit and city, so the 25th anniversary race is a really special win for me. We're still a long way out for the championship. Right now, it's about getting race wins."

Wilson gave Andretti Autosport a full house this season. Marco Andretti won the IZOD IndyCar Series race at Iowa Speedway, Zach Veach and Spencer Pigot have won in USF2000 and Sage Karam has won in Star Mazda. Team owner Michael Andretti won seven times on the streets of Toronto.

"He drove perfectly and I'm very proud of him," said Justin Wilson, Stefan's brother who also posted his first North American victory at Toronto in 2005.

Dempsey, a 25-year-old from Ashbourne, Ireland, had three top-10 results, including two podium finishes, in four starts with O2 Racing. "This is a fantastic result for everyone at Andretti Autosport," he said. "The name of the game was to come home first and second. The guys were working extremely hard all weekend. Stefan drove a great race. After we moved up to second, the goal was to not make any mistakes. I'm really happy with today's podium finish and have to thank the team for their help in making it happen."

Gustavo Yacaman, driving the No. 2 TMR-Tuvacol/Xtreme Coil Drilling car, finished third after starting sixth for his second consecutive podium finish, and Guerrieri recovered to finish fourth. Anders Krohn, driving the No. 9 Liberty Engineering Special for Belardi Auto Racing tied his season best of fifth.

Series championship points leader Josef Newgarden, who started fifth, was challenging Dempsey for second on Lap 32 when the front wing of the No. 11 Copart/Score Big/Robo-Pong/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car made contact with Dempsey's right-rear tire. Newgarden was ordered to pit, which dropped a lap down.

He finished eighth, but leads Guerrieri by 37 points entering the doubleheader on the City Centre Airport circuit in Edmonton, Alberta, in two weeks. Wilson moved to third (46 points back). “What caused the spin: “It was the low tire pressures," said Guerrieri, who has started from the pole the past three races. "It takes at least one and up to two laps to get the pressures up. I got a bit of understeer in the entry to (Turn) 3, and when I got on the power it just came around. It was really stupid, but I just lost the rear. We had even been practicing with low tire pressures and to push hard. But apparently we didn’t practice enough so we will continue working on it.”

Jorge Goncalvez and Victor Garcia finished ahead of Newgarden.
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Postby mlittle » Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:48 pm

Current Firestone Indy Lights Top-10 Standings
Event: Streets of Toronto[rd.7 of 14]


1st} Josef Newgarden, 267 pts(3 wins)
2nd} Esteban Guerrieri, 230 pts(1 win)
3rd} Stefan Wilson, 221 pts(1 win)
4th} Victor Garcia, 199 pts(1 win)
5th} Gustavo Yacaman, 186 pts
6th} Jorge Goncalves, 181 pts
7th} Anders Krohn, 165 pts
8th} David Ostella, 160 pts
9th} Peter Dempsey, 159 pts
10th} Victor Carbone, 154 pts
--Additional Wins: Conor Daly(1 win)
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Morad Joins TMR For Twin Edmonton Races....

Postby mlittle » Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:08 am

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---Canadian Daniel Morad will join Team Moore Racing for the Edmonton Twin 100s at Edmonton City Centre Airport.
The 21-year-old native of Ontario will drive the No. 22 TMR/Xtreme Coil Drill car in his debut races in the Firestone Indy Lights in place of Victor Garcia, who has returned to Spain and will not compete again this season with TMR due to an unfortunate set of circumstances.

“The decision for Victor not to continue with TMR was extremely painful for all us,” said team co-owner Mark Moore. “It’s hard to believe our race winner from Barber and championship contender cannot continue. We are all very fond of Victor and he has been huge part of our program. The economy in Spain has made it impossible and we are all very sorry that this has happened now. “

Morad, is a GP3 Series race winner who has been competing in the same series this season, was World Champion in the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Final in 2010. He raced for A1GP Team Lebanon in 2008/09 and won the Formula BMW USA championship in 2007.

“We are very fortunate to have someone of Daniel’s caliber available to fill the seat and we will move forward,” Moore said. “We had a lot of success last year with another Canadian James Hinchcliffe who won the Edmonton race for TMR. The fact that Daniel is Canadian, it is a Canadian race, and Xtreme Coil Drilling Corp. is Canadian-based, it is a perfect fit for the team.”

Morad is one of four newcomers who will debut at Edmonton this weekend, joining Canadians Tyler Dueck and Stefan Rzadzinski and Britain's Oliver Webb. Morad said he is looking forward to competing with Team Moore Racing at Edmonton and getting back behind the wheel.

“I’m really excited to have the opportunity to make my Indy Lights debut in Canada in front of my fellow Canadians,” Morad said. “I’d like to thank TMR and Xtreme Coil for providing me with this opportunity in such short notice. I’d also like to thank Andy DeFrancesco, founder of Delavaco Capital Corp., as well as Sofina Foods Driver Development Program for their continuous support throughout my career.”
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Newgarden To Start P1 in Saturday's FIL Edmonton Race

Postby mlittle » Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:09 am

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---EDMONTON, Alberta -- Josef Newgarden has experienced the start of a Firestone Indy Lights race from the outside of the front row, and now he'll see it from the inside. Newgarden, driving the No. 11 Copart/Score Big/Robo-Pong/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, earned his first Sunoco Pole Award with a quick lap of 1 minute, 22.7721 seconds on the 2.24-mile, 13-turn City Centre Airport circuit for the first of two 40-lap races this weekend.

VERSUS and TSN has coverage, starting at 4:30 p.m. (ET).

Newgarden, of Hendersonville, Tenn., recorded the quickest lap of the 35-minute qualifying session on his final tour (of 20). Teammate Esteban Guerrieri in the No. 7 Lucas Oil/SSM car was the provisional pole sitter (1:22.8082) until Newgarden's lap ended his streak of three pole starts in a row. It is Guerrieri's eighth front-row start of the season.

"We were struggling a little bit with our braking, especially from the beginning of the practice session," said Newgarden, the Firestone Indy Lights championship points leader. "We were working on it all through the qualifying run and I really didn’t know how it was going because we were struggling on time there. But the car in general was very good and we have the balance just right.

"I felt very good about it, we just needed to improve the braking. I think that is what made the difference at the end. On the last lap, we just kept fine-tuning and changing the driving style a little bit to cope with it and we were able to pull it out by a fraction at the end. It is great for Sam Schmidt Motorsports to start 1-2 for the first race."

Peter Dempsey (1:23.2456) in the No. 26 Andretti Autosport car will join Gustavo Yacaman, driving the No. 2 TMR-Tuvacol-Xtreme Coil Drilling car (1:23.2990), on Row 2.

Victor Carbone in the No. 3 Nevoni/Sam Schmidt Motorsports entry posted a season-high fifth starting position and will share Row 3 with Anders Krohn, driver of the No. 9 Liberty Engineering Racing Special for Belardi Auto Racing. The starting order for Race 2 will be based on the fastest lap times of the first race.
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Guerrieri Wins First of Edmonton Twin Races....

Postby mlittle » Sun Jul 24, 2011 8:11 am

Image

----EDMONTON, Alberta -- Esteban Guerrieri earned his second Firestone Indy Lights victory of the season, holding off Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammate Josef Newgarden in the first of a doubleheader weekend at the City Centre Airport circuit.

Guerrieri, driving the No. 7 Lucas Oil car, completed 36 of the scheduled 40 laps (race was on a 60-minute limit) because of three caution periods that totaled 25 minutes. Newgarden, the pole sitter and Firestone Indy Lights championship points leader by 26 over Guerrieri, finished 0.6524 of a second behind for his fifth top five of the season.

Guerrieri overtook Newgarden in Turn 5 of the first lap on the 2.24-mile, 13-turn circuit and was in command through the three restarts. "Starting from the pole has been good, but not good enough for the wins," said the Argentinian, who has five Sunoco Pole Awards to his credit this season. "It’s not that I didn’t want to win the pole today, Josef was just a bit a quicker. We were both off to a very good pace from the beginning.

"The changes we made between practice and qualifying were done in a very short time. I saw my car 10 minutes before qualifying and it was in three pieces, so big thanks to the guys. Today was very much a team effort, finishing 1-2 with Josef. It was a good race but there’s another race tomorrow so we’ll do the best we can."

The final full-course caution was called on Lap 27 when the No. 26 Andretti Autosport car of Peter Dempsey touched tires with the No. 3 Nevoni/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car driven by Victor Carbone as they dueled for third exiting Turn 1. Dempsey was in the process of completing the pass, but his car's right-rear tire and the left-front of Carbone's car, which sent the on its left side and then upside down. Both drivers were checked and cleared to drive.

“I am just getting more comfortable in the car, and (the crash is) a shame because this by far is the best race for me so far this year," said Carbone, who qualified a season-high fifth. "I was fighting with Peter and I looked in my mirrors. I knew he was going to get a run on me. I went into Turn 1 as deep as I could because I knew he was going to try and match me. He got inside me. I was going to get a run on him on the outside coming out of one, and he didn’t leave me any room and we touched. It is a shame.”
That opened the door for Oliver Webb in the No. 12 Jensen MotorSport car, who finished third in his series debut.

"This has been a crazy week for me," said Webb, 20, of Manchester, England, who competed in the Cooper Tires British Formula International Series in 2010. "We did a test at the beginning of the week and went from Manchester to Atlanta to Indianapolis and Vegas then ended up here all in five days, so it has been tight but I think I am learning a lot. The race was long so it gave me a change to overtake some cars and gain some positions that I needed after a bad qualifying (11th)."

Stefan Wilson, who earned his first series victory two weeks ago at Toronto in the No. 5 Andretti Autosport car, advanced from the 13th starting position to finish fourth. Bruno Andrade, making his second start in the No. 29 Bryan Herra Autosport car, finished fifth but was penalized for blocking. He switched positions with sixth-place Gustavo Yacaman in the No. 2 TMR-Tuvacol-Xtreme Coil Drilling entry.

Drivers take the green flag for the second race at 12:15 p.m. (ET) July 24, with the starting grid set by fastest laps from Race 1. Newgarden (1:22.9337) again will start on the pole and Guerrieri (1:23.0158) will be on the outside of Row 1. "We had a really strong race, it just wasn’t quite enough at the end," Newgarden said. "We have been saying points, points, points all along, so I think that is going to be the key for us to win the championship. We came off a disappointing result in Toronto (eighth) and we didn’t want to see that result happen again. So coming into this weekend we had a very positive attitude still, but we are definitely focusing on points and what it takes to build those. It is definitely finishing in the top three and looking for wins along the way."
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Guerrieri Wins In Trois-Riviere

Postby mlittle » Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:48 pm

(from 7 August 2011)


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--TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec -- What started as a relatively uneventful Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres ended in a thrilling, slippery finish.
Pole sitter Esteban Guerrieri, driving the No. 7 Lucas Oil/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car, held on through the rain and several challenges to win for the third time this season. The race was red-flagged for a brief period after Lap 43 of 58 because of a downpour.

Guerrieri’s win capped an impressive showing as he was fastest in the first round of practice, earned his sixth Sunoco Pole Award of the season and set an open-wheel racing record of 58.5076 seconds on the street circuit.
“It was a very tough race,” Guerrieri said. “When it started to rain, it got a bit crazy, then the red flag came out and it was a whole new race.”

The order remained the same through the opening laps. Rain brought out the yellow flag, which quickly became red as conditions worsened. Drivers were allowed a six-minute pit to switch to rain tires and make any adjustments necessary.

The green flag was waved after three laps under yellow with Guerrieri in the lead, followed by teammate Conor Daly and Andretti Autosport's Peter Dempsey. On the restart, Daly made an aggressive move to the inside to overtake Guerrieri. As he came closer, Daly's car spun and backed into the retaining wall. He finished 13th.

“I felt like there was grip there on the warm-up laps,” Daly said. “When we went green, I just couldn’t throttle and the rear came around. It was a big mistake really. I had a good race up until that point. I think the car was fast enough to pass Esteban, so it’s unfortunate that it rained.”

The water kicking up behind the cars made it very difficult for drivers to see. “It was hard being the first one out,” Guerrieri said. “There is an advantage about being in front. I felt sorry for the guys in the back; I’m sure they couldn’t see anything, but being first you’re the first one on the track leading the way, and with it being so slippery it was pretty hard.”

Gustavo Yacaman finished 6.2535 seconds behind Guerrieri in the No. 2 TMR-Tuvacol-Xtreme Coil Drilling car, while Firestone Indy Lights championship points leader Josef Newgarden was third. Dempsey, who was in third for most of the race before working his way up to second, was feet from the finish line when he hit a slippery spot on the track and spun out of control. The quick moment he was frozen was enough for Yacaman and Newgarden to slip by.

“It wasn’t my day today,” Newgarden said. “Esteban did a great job for the team. We picked up another win, another one of us on the podium.”
Stefan Wilson also snuck by his Andretti Autosport teammate on the final lap, ending up in fourth.
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Postby mlittle » Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:52 pm

Current Top-10 Firestone Indy Lights Standings
Event: Grand Prix of Trois-Rivieres[rd.10 of 14]


1st} Josef Newgarden, 396 pts(4 wins)
2nd} Esteban Guerrieri, 351 pts(3 wins)
3rd} Stefan Wilson, 325 pts(1 win)
4th} Gustavo Yacaman, 270 pts
5th} Jorge Goncalves, 247 pts
6th} Anders Krohn, 238 pts
7th} Peter Dempsey, 232 pts
8th} David Ostella, 226 pts
9th} Victor Carbone, 225 pts
10th} Duarte Ferreira, 221 pts
--Additional Wins: Victor Garcia(1 win) & Conor Daly(1 win)
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Newgarden Wins In Loudon.......

Postby mlittle » Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:26 pm

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With all the controversy surrounding the IndyCar Series race, people seem to have forgotten that the Indy Lights race was a pretty good race....unless, for example, you're Josef Newgarden......


(from SU 14 August 2011)
---LOUDON, N.H. -- Pole sitter Josef Newgarden didn't have any issues controlling the race pace following a Lap 1 spin of Sam Schmidt Motorsports teammate Bryan Clauson's car exiting Turn 2.
Following a Lap 69 caution for a spin of another teammate, Esteban Guerrieri, Newgarden didn't have any challengers for the remainder of the New Hampshire 100.

By Lap 65, Newgarden had put all cars but the No. 7 Lucas Oil entry driven by Guerrieri a lap down on the 1.025-mile oval. Every other starter was a lap down following the Lap 72 restart after Guerrieri's spin in the grass exiting Turn 2.

Newgarden went on to his fifth victory and increased his Firestone Indy Lights championship advantage over Guerrieri, who finished fifth, to 68 points with three races remaining.

It was the second time in series history -- March 2004 at Phoenix by eventual champion Thiago Medeiros, interestingly in the No. 11 Sam Schmidt Motorsports car -- that a driver lapped the field.

"This weekend turned out to be more than we thought it could be," said Newgarden, who didn't let up by posting his quickest race lap (144.701 mph) on Lap 93. "I’m very, very happy for the whole team. It’s unfortunate with what happened with Esteban; it’s tough to see that with a teammate. We’re pushing hard and we’re trying to win this championship. It’s not an easy job for either of us with the situation that we have.
Jorge Goncalvez, who started a season-high fifth in the No. 4 Belardi Auto Racing Special, finished a season-best second (his eighth top 10 in 11 races).

"This is a very competitive series with a group of talented drivers," he said. "I definitely like the short ovals and I had good results at Milwaukee (third) and now here. Team Belardi worked very hard to get my car ready for this race."

Duarte Ferreira was third in the No. 28 Bryan Herta Autosport car -- also a season high -- and Gustavo Yacaman advanced seven positions to finish fourth in the No. 2 TMR-Tuvacol-Xtreme Coil Drilling car (his seventh top five of the season).

"This was a very good day because this is my first season in the Firestone Indy Lights and I was able to achieve my goal of getting a podium," Ferreira said. "I am only 18 years old and this is a very competitive series to race in. I have finished in the top 10 seven times, but the team has put a lot of work into the cars and it is better."

David Ostella finished sixth in the No. 16 Global Precast Team Jensen car and Clauson recovered to finish seventh in the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/CURB Records car.

Guerrieri's result was the seventh top-five finish; he won at Trois-Rivieres a week earlier. "At least we finished the race after a spin," he said. "Normally when you spin on an oval, you don’t finish the race. We saved some points. It was an interesting race. We had a similar pace with Josef and I was just waiting for traffic and we got side by side a couple of times and I had my chances. Recovering to finish fifth was good. It wasn’t what I wanted, but it was good. There are three races left and still a lot to achieve.”
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Postby mlittle » Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:31 pm

Current Top-10 Firestone Indy Lights Standings
Events: Copart 100[rd.11 of 14]


1st} Josef Newgarden, 449 pts(5 wins)
2nd} Esteban Guerrieri, 381 pts(3 wins)
3rd} Stefan Wilson, 343 pts(1 win)
4th} Gustavo Yacaman, 302 pts
5th} Jorge Goncalves, 287 pts
6th} Anders Krohn, 257 pts
7th} Duarte Ferreira, 256 pts
8th} David Ostella, 254 pts
9th} Victor Carbone, 245 pts
10th} Peter Dempsey, 232 pts
---Additional Wins: Victor Garcia(1 win) & Conor Daly(1 win)
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