Sage Karam took his first victory in the Firestone Indy Lights Series at the Milwaukee Mile. Karam made the race-winning pass on erstwhile dominant force Zach Veach on lap 57 of the 100-lap race. From there, the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports driver didn’t look back.
Veach fell to third by the finish behind his Andretti Autosport teammate and series points leader Carlos Munoz. Munoz almost had a chance on the only restart of the race on lap 97, but with a lapped car in-between he and Karam, the American was able to launch just fine.
Veach had got the jump from second on the grid and while his car worked great in clean air, he struggled in traffic. He also burned his tires off early in the race and with a loss of grip, he could not maintain the same pace.
Gabby Chaves finished fourth ahead of Juan Pablo Garcia, with Peter Dempsey falling to sixth after making late, light contact with the Turn 2 wall.
Jorge Goncalvez and Jack Hawksworth rounded out the runners in the eight-car field.
Munoz leads the points 207-189 over Karam. Karam’s week also included his signing with GP Sports Management, the same group that represents Dario Franchitti, for his own career management.
Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.
Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.
Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.
“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.
“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”
Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.
“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.
“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”