Belardi Auto Racing’s Alex Baron and points leader Gabby Chaves led the way throughout the Indy Lights’ ninth round of 2014 on the streets of Toronto, with Baron winning from the pole position by 1.2 seconds.
Baron’s inaugural Lights win also brings Belardi’s current winning streak to three races, as Chaves won the preceding two events at Indianapolis (Freedom 100) and Pocono.
“It always feels good to win a race and even better to win in Indy Lights, which is so prestigious as the step before IndyCar,” Baron said. “I’m really honored and thrilled to have achieved this.
“As the pole car, I was just guessing in each corner until I figured it out. In Turn One and Turn Three a couple of times, I didn’t know what to expect, but the track got better and better as the race went on.”
Chaves also extended his lead in the Indy Lights championship to 21 points, 356-335, over Zach Veach, who finished fifth today.
Schmidt Peterson w/Curb-Agajanian driver Jack Harvey earned the final spot on the Toronto podium over Andretti Autosport teammates Matthew Brabham (fourth) and Veach.
The two Belardi cars stretched out to a sizable lead before Harvey started to gain on the leaders around the halfway point. Harvey continued to close in on Chaves for the runner-up spot, but ultimately finished 1.6 seconds behind him.
Two drivers were unable to make it to the finish. Schmidt driver Luiz Razia suffered contact on the opening lap with another car, and tried to keep going but ultimately shut it down on Lap 7.
Combined with his DNF last time out at Pocono, this may be a lethal blow to his championship hopes. Also bowing out early was Ryan Phinny, who was surely hoping for a better Lights debut today.
The series will resume its 2014 schedule with races on Aug. 2 and 3 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.