MRTI: Carlin adds European F3 shoe Ed Jones to Indy Lights lineup

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The first of Trevor Carlin’s Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires drivers has been revealed, in the form of Dubai-born, English-based 19-year-old F3 shoe Ed Jones. More from the team below:


FIA Formula 3 European Championship racer Ed Jones will step over to Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires next season, moving across the Atlantic with the team that has taken him to F3 podiums in 2014. The 19-year-old claimed two podiums in a curtailed FIA F3 season and is the first driver to be announced in Carlin’s new Indy Lights team.

Jones has had some previous experience racing in the U.S, having competed in the Florida Winter Series at the start of the 2014 season. Racing alongside the likes of Max Verstappen and Ferrari Academy drivers Antonio Fuoco and Raffaele Marciello, Jones took eight podiums, one pole position and three fastest laps.

Jones was a top rookie when the 2014 FIA F3 season kicked off earlier this year, taking two podiums at the second event on the calendar in Hockenheim. The Emirates based driver saw his progress halted somewhat by a back injury sustained in Pau in May, but returned in fighting form at the Red Bull Ring in August to take two sixth place finishes after missing three races mid-season.

Previously, Jones was Euro F3 Open Champion, recording six wins and a total of 10 podiums on his way to taking the 2013 title. Jones also reached the podium in Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup in 2013 in a busy season which also saw him take third in the British F3 standings.

Speaking about his new race programme, Jones said, “I am really excited and thankful for this opportunity to race in Indy Lights. I have always seen myself going over to the States for racing at some point and Carlin’s choice to participate in the series has made it an ideal time to make the transition a reality. There will be a lot to learn for the team and myself especially on the ovals but I am as motivated as ever to make it a success with the aim of making it to Indy Car now clearly in sight.“

Trevor Carlin added, “We are beyond delighted that Ed will be making this journey to Indy Lights with us. He’s shown pace and determination this season in F3 and is a joy to work with. It is a great start to our Indy Lights campaign that we are able to take one of our existing drivers to the U.S and I’ve no doubt that Ed has the ability to be competitive from the outset.”

Sebastien Ogier in driver’s seat for sixth straight World Rally Championship title

Sebastien Ogier leads the way in the WRC title chase. Photo: Getty Images
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COFFS HARBOUR, Australia (AP) — Thierry Neuville finished the sixth stage of Rally Australia on Friday without a rear left tire, damaging his chances of catching five-time defending champion Sebastien Ogier for the World Rally Championship title.

The Belgian driver entered the rally just three points behind Ogier in the closest title fight in 15 years.

He held the upper hand on his French rival, building a near-10 second gap through the first five stages at Coffs Harbour before hitting a chicane and finishing the stage with only three tires on his Hyundai.

Neuville was fortunate the puncture occurred late enough in the day to finish all six forestry stages and avoid a retirement. But the mistake cost him 40 seconds and gave Ogier, who is 33 seconds ahead of him, a clear run at his sixth straight championship.

In his last start with Ford before a move to Citroen next year, Ogier struggled as the first to drive the dusty, slippery forest routes.

“I pushed like crazy, I was on the limit over the jump and everywhere, I can’t do (any) more,” Ogier said. “I was on the limit.”

With Ogier on sweeping duties the back markers flourished, and Mads Ostberg took the lead in his return to the series.

Ostberg was forced to miss the previous round in Spain to make way for rally winner and nine-time world champion Sebastien Loeb, who was making the last of his three guest appearances for Citroen.

Now back in the seat, Ostberg leads Jari-Matti Latvala by 6.8 seconds in the Australian rally, with sixth-stage winner Craig Breen in third.

Ogier was seventh, 38.2 seconds off the pace, but only needs to finish ahead of Neuville to claim the championship title. Neuville is in 10th place after six stages.

Roles will reverse on Saturday, with Ogier to start further back in the field and do his best on cleaner roads to make up the day-one deficit before Sunday’s final stages.

Andreas Mikkelsen, the 2016 Rally Australia champion, was an early dropout after rolling into a ditch in his Hyundai. Mikkelsen had only just avoided a tractor that had found its way onto the course.

Former winner Molly Taylor and co-driver Malcolm Read were also forced out of their event when their Subaru hit a hay bale at high speed on the morning’s second stage. Both reported soreness but suffered no serious injuries.

The 24-stage rally totals 319 kilometers (197 miles). Ten stages are scheduled Saturday with the final six on Sunday, most of them through forests on the New South Wales state’s north coast about 530 kilometers (325 miles) north of Sydney.