Gabby Chaves wins rain-shortened Indy Lights Race 2 at Barber (VIDEO)

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After four races, the 2014 Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires championship has officially become The Zach and Gabby Show.

One day after Zach Veach won Race 1 of this weekend’s Lights doubleheader at Barber Motorsports Park, Gabby Chaves answered back with his own wire-to-wire win today in Race 2.

Veach and Chaves have now come away with two wins apiece this year in Lights; Veach won the season-opener at St. Petersburg, while Chaves was victorious at Long Beach two weeks ago.

Rain started to fall upon the 2.37-mile circuit about halfway through today’s race and it picked up enough to force Indy Lights officials to call the race four laps shy of the scheduled 40-lap distance.

Chaves took the checkered flag over Belardi Auto Racing teammate Alex Baron, with Veach earning a second podium this weekend by claiming third place for Andretti Autosport.

Today’s 1-2 finish for the Belardi duo is much better than what they received in yesterday’s Race 1. In that 30-lap race, they made contact just after the green flag, and Baron was forced to rally to a fourth-place result while Chaves had to settle for fifth.

“It was a clean start, and we managed to get a 1-2 going on in the first lap with my teammate. We put yesterday’s incident behind us and worked together to get away from the other guys,” Chaves said to the IMS Radio Network.

“Yesterday was very disappointing, but there’s no better way to come back than with a win.”

INDY LIGHTS – RACE TWO, BARBER MOTORSPORTS PARK
Unofficial Results
1. Gabby Chaves
2. Alex Baron, -1.6 seconds
3. Zach Veach, -3.5 seconds
4. Luiz Razia, -7.15 seconds
5. Jack Harvey, -9.3 seconds
6. Juan Pablo Garcia, -11.4 seconds
7. Juan Piedrahita, -14.1 seconds
8. Zack Meyer, -17.0 seconds
9. Lloyd Read, -25.4 seconds
10. Scott Anderson, -28.3 seconds
11. Vittorio Ghirelli, Lap 33, Mechanical
12. Matthew Brabham, Lap 26, Mechanical

F1 2017 driver review: Sergio Perez

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Sergio Perez

Team: Sahara Force India
Car No.: 11
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P4 (Spain)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 1
Points: 100
Championship Position: 7th

While failing to hit the podium as he did in both 2015 and 2016, Sergio Perez once again finished the year as Formula 1’s leading midfield team driver, but faced a greater fight from within Force India in the shape of Esteban Ocon.

Perez has long been knocking on the door of F1’s top teams should an opportunity come up, and 2017 saw him continue his solid if unspectacular form. The dominance of Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari meant any finish higher than seventh was impressive, something he managed to do on five occasions.

But there were some missed opportunities along the way, most significantly in Baku. Force India had been quick all weekend, with Perez charging to sixth on the grid, and when drama struck at the front, he and teammate Ocon were eyeing a podium finish as a minimum.

Contact between the two forced Perez to retire and prompted Ocon to pit for repairs, leaving the team without the top-three finish it targeted heading into the season. With Lance Stroll taking P3 for Williams and Daniel Ricciardo winning the race, a maiden victory for Force India was not out of the realm of imagination.

Perez and Ocon came to blows on a number of occasions, with the final straw coming in Spa when they twice touched on-track, prompting Force India to introduce team orders. Perez finished the year 13 points clear of Ocon in the final standings, meeting his own pre-season target of 100 points, yet the Frenchman had arguably made the bigger impression at Force India through his first full season in F1.

Force India remains the top underdog in F1 with Perez spearheading its charge, but it is difficult to see either taking the final step to becoming true contenders at the front of the field anytime soon, as solid as their displays have been.

Season High: P4 in Spain after retirements for the ‘big three’.

Season Low: Losing a sure-fire podium, if not a win, in Baku after contact with Ocon.