Indy Lights: Ed Jones doubles up in St. Petersburg

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ST. PETERSBURG – Another day, another Ed Jones and Carlin Racing domination of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires race at St. Petersburg.

The Dubai-based Englishman took his second straight win to open his, the team’s, and the new Dallara IL15 Mazda car’s account to kick off the Indy Lights season, aboard the No. 11 car.

Jones completed the weekend sweep from pole position, leading every lap once again. As he did on Saturday, he beat Jack Harvey (No. 42 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports) and Spencer Pigot (No. 12 Juncos Racing) for the win.

“The main point that won the race was the consistency,” Jones said. “I just made sure I was as close to them as I could be. That meant we kept pushing until the end. The race was the longest I’ve ever done, but this one felt like it went quicker than yesterday. I got in the zone.”

Pigot enjoyed a phenomenal battle with Max Chilton, Jones’ teammate, for the final podium position. Several times, the Englishman came close to overtaking, but the Rising Star Racing-backed American held him off.

Kyle Kaiser, Pigot’s teammate at Juncos Racing, was fifth for the second straight day.

The other intense battle during the 45-lap race involved a pair of drivers in their only confirmed weekends thus far, Scott Hargrove and Matthew Brabham. The drivers for 8Star Motorsports and Andretti Autosport, respectively, came close in the battle for sixth before the Canadian emerged ahead.

The full race will air on NBCSN on Sunday, April 5, at 4:30 pm ET.

Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023

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Jamie Chadwick, the three-time W Series champion, will drive for Andretti Autosport in the Indy NXT Series next season.

Chadwick will make her debut in an American racing series in March, driving the No. 28 for Andretti Autosport with sponsorship from DHL. The 24-year-old will become the first female driver in 13 years to compete full time in the Indy NXT championship.

Chadwick joined the female free-to-enter W Series in its inaugural 2019 season, winning two races and the first of three consecutive championships. She has been a reserve driver for the Williams Formula One team and will continue in that role in 2023. She also has driven in the Extreme E Series.

Despite her success, Chadwick hasn’t landed a bigger ride in F3 or F2, and her break didn’t come until Michael Andretti contacted her and offered a test in an Indy NXT car.

The final three races of this year’s W Series schedule were canceled when funding fell through, but Chadwick still believes the all-female series was the right path for her.

“W Series has always been and will continue to be an opportunity to be racing for every female driver, so for my side, I looked at it while perhaps I would have liked to step up maybe earlier, at the same time being able to have that chance to race, get that experience, have that development, seat time… I was constantly learning,” Chadwick told The Associated Press.

“In that sense, I wasn’t frustrated at all. But on the flip side of it, now I’ve had that experience testing in the United States in Indy NXT and this is something I’m really excited about.”

Chadwick also is expected to have an enhanced role as a development driver next season with Williams, which chose American driver Logan Sargeant to fill its open seat on next year’s F1 grid.

“Andretti Autosport is proud to be supporting Jamie alongside DHL,” said Michael Andretti. “Jamie’s successful career speaks for itself, but Indy NXT gives Jamie the opportunity to continue her development in a new type of racing.

“We’ve turned out five Indy NXT champions over the years and look forward to continuing our role in developing new talent.”

Indy NXT is the new name of the rebranded Indy Lights Series, the final step on the ladder system before IndyCar.

Andretti will field two drivers next season in IndyCar that were developed in Indy NXT: Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 champion, will return to Andretti after one season in IndyCar driving for A.J. Foyt Racing, and Devlin DeFrancesco is back for a second season.

Chadwick will be teammates in Indy NXT with Hunter McElrea and Louis Foster. She becomes Andretti’s second full-time female driver alongside Catie Munnings, who competes for Andretti United in the Extreme E Series.