This past weekend we were in Toronto for rounds 9 and 10 of the Indy Lights Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. Heading into the weekend we knew that we needed to make up some ground in the points after the troubles we had in May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The weekend got off to a good start in the first practice session on Friday morning. It rained before our session and the track was just about dry enough for slick tires. It’s a very challenging track; there are lots of bumps and surface changes. Most of the corners have concrete patches in the middle of them so it makes it very slick until there is some rubber laid down. I ended up fastest in the first practice session. It started to rain very lightly again just before the second session of the day. It didn’t rain hard enough to put wet tires on so we only did a few laps.
Everything was going well in qualifying, I was fastest for most of the session. We decided to only put on two new sets of Cooper Tires so we could save a new set to start each race on. Looking back we should have used three in qualifying because race two ended up being wet anyway and I think we could have been on pole. I finished the session in 3rd a few tenths off the pace but I had the quickest 2nd fastest lap giving me the pole for race two.
Race one was full of drama. The start was a bit of a mess but I made it through relatively unscathed. I damaged my front wing a little at the exit of turn one. I tried to avoid RC Enerson when he got sideways and had to slow down to catch the slide. It killed my momentum and I fell back to fourth on the exit. I passed Jack Harvey a few laps later to move up to 3rd. By then the leaders were a few seconds down the road. I was catching them by a few tenths every lap. I saw they were getting close and was hoping they would start fighting and hold each other up so I could catch them quicker. Next thing I see is RC’s helmet and his car flying straight up into the air. It was a pretty scary crash to witness but luckily RC was able to get out of his car with no injuries. The race restarted after a while and I led the remaining laps to take my third win of the season!
It started raining pretty heavily before the start of the second race on Sunday. I had only driven the Indy Lights car once in the rain so there was a lot of learning to do in the race. It was probably the hardest race I have driven. Trying to keep the car facing the right direction and out of the wall was extremely difficult. The track had absolutely no grip over the concrete patches, the Cooper Tires were giving us as much grip as they could but it was a big ask for them on that track. I was able to keep the car under control and lead every lap! At the end of the race there were three cars on the lead lap and only two of us that didn’t spin or have to come into the pits for repairs.
It was a huge weekend for us, we’ve now won more races that any other driver this year in Indy Lights and I moved back up to 2nd in the championship. It was the perfect rebound after Indy and we’ll keep working hard to win more races and fight for this championship.
Special Thanks to Mazda, Cooper Tires, Doug Mockett & Company, Rising Star Racing, The Stutz, BAD, California Scents, MOBĒ, Brad Penn Oil and of course the Juncos Racing team for all of their hard work.
Thanks for reading,