The most hallowed grounds in American motorsports played host to the Mazda Road to Indy last weekend with two races each for USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights on the 2.534-mile, 13-turn road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Let’s recap the highlights of the weekend:
Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires: Two scintillating Indy Lights races topped the weekend. Close, fierce racing from front-to-back from start-to-finish meant each race held drama until the checkered flag fell.
In Race 1, Ed Jones of Carlin Racing became the first driver this season to win two races in the Indy Lights championship. Jones, a native of Britain who resides in Dubai, strengthened his points lead by holding off a series of challenges at the front of the field. Mazda scholarship winner Santiago “Santi” Urrutia finished second for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in a fierce dual with Dean Stoneman of Andretti Autosport who came across the finish line third.
In Race 2, the action amped up even more, with Stoneman taking his inaugural victory in Indy Lights. The British driver, who is returning from two years out of the race car to fight cancer, became the sixth winner in seven races this season. Stoneman held off a race-long challenge from Urrutia, who has a win and two second-place finishes in the last three races, who finished second. Kyle Kaiser of Juncos Racing finished third. Jones leads the point standings, followed by Urrutia, Kaiser, Felix Serralles, Stoneman and Felix Rosenqvist.
Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tires
The two Pro Mazda races saw the same winner as Mexican driver Pato O’Ward (pictured left), who turned 17 years old only the week before, led both races from start to finish. O’Ward has a commanding lead in points with five consecutive race wins, and has led the last 90 laps in four races.
In Race 1, American driver Will Owen took second place, while Aussie Jake Parsons scored his first podium finish in the U.S. with third place.
In Race 2, O’Ward’s teammate at Team Pelfrey, Aaron Telitz finished second (Telitz is also second in points) followed in third by Owen.
Cooper Tires USF2000 powered by Mazda
Friday’s Race 1 featured the Australian Anthony Martin, who grabbed his first USF2000 victory in his second season in the series. Martin, who started on the pole, led each of the 20 laps in the race. He was followed across the finish line by his Cape Motorsports w/Wayne Taylor Racing teammate Parker Thompson. Third place went to the Brazilian Victor Franzoni.
Saturday’s cold temperatures didn’t slow points leader Thompson, who grabbed his third victory in the last four races. The native of Red Deer, Alberta carried a decal of #AlbertaStrong to bring attention to the tragic fires that have ravaged the area. Thompson encouraged all of his fans to donate to the Canadian Red Cross to help with the recovery.
Up next is the Freedom 100 for the Indy Lights as they take to the 2.5-mile Indianapolis oval for a race on Carb Day, Friday, May 27. Pro Mazda and USF2000 will be in action that evening on the .686-mile oval at Lucas Oil Raceway, located only a few miles from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.