Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

Spoiler: Indy Lights Road America Race 2 Results

1 Comment

Carlin’s Zachary Claman De Melo took his maiden win in Race 2 at Road America for the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires. Claman De Melo quickly moved up from his fourth starting position to overtake pole sitter Colton Herta in the opening laps with an inside move between turns 5 and 6. The 19-year-old Canadian dominated the race from there to win by more than ten seconds.

Zachary Claman De Melo in Victory Lane at Road America. Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

“It’s such a great feeling, I’m just really at a loss for words,” said a jubilant Claman De Melo, who now sits seventh in the championship following his win. “I can’t thank the people who helped get me here enough. It was such a great turnaround from Race One. Getting the win – and by such a big margin – shows that I am here to win races and fight for the championship.”

Kyle Kaiser outdueled Herta for second, which will see him extend his points lead, while Herta held on for a much needed podium, his best result since his victory in Race 2 at Barber Motorsports Park.

Matheus Leist was fourth while Aaron Telitz rebounded from a difficult Race 1, in which he finished 11th, to finish fifth in Race 2.

Of note: Santi Urrutia had the scariest moment of the race on the final lap, when his left-rear tire exploded on the run to Canada Corner. However, he was able to limp back around to finish tenth.

Kaiser now leads Leist by 27 points, with Herta 38 points out of the lead in third. Nico Jamin (-40) and Aaron Telitz (-50) complete the top five in the championship.

Results are below. Race 2 will air Monday June 26 at 12:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Follow Kyle Lavigne.

F1 2017 driver review: Romain Grosjean

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Romain Grosjean

Team: Haas
Car No.: 8
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P6 (Austria)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 28
Championship Position: 13th

After leading Haas’ charge through its debut Formula 1 season in 2016, Romain Grosjean once again stepped up as team leader for the American team through its sophomore campaign despite scoring one point fewer.

Haas did not expect any major step in performance heading into 2017, having dealt with building all-new cars for two different sets of regulations, but the team was able to match its season one points total by the halfway mark this time around.

The big boost was the addition of a second points scoring driver – Kevin Magnussen – to partner Grosjean. Grosjean looked increasingly comfortable at Haas even if the car often presented problems, particularly under braking.

Radio rants were frequent, with Grosjean unable to drive around the issues as Magnussen did. But he was nevertheless able to finish the year as Haas’ top scorer, with his highlight moment being a perfect run to sixth in Austria.

Greater consistency was evident from both Grosjean and Haas through 2017, yet there were still swings in form that need to be ironed out in the future. The team was unable to capitalize on Renault and Toro Rosso’s late season difficulties that could have seen it jump to sixth in the constructors’ championship.

Grosjean once again proved himself to be a very competent and talented racer through 2017, but needs a little more panache – perhaps down to the car more than anything – if he is to put himself in the frame for a top-line drive in the future.

Haas continues to offer a good platform, though, and its third season should be its best yet thanks to the stability in the regulations. It will be a real chance for Grosjean to show what he can do.

Season High: A perfect run to sixth in Austria, leading the midfield cars.

Season Low: Crashing early with Ocon in Brazil, hurting Haas’ constructors’ hopes.