One of the more impressive drivers in this year’s Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship, Dubai-based Englishman Ed Jones, will return to the Carlin team for the 2016 season.
Jones won the opening three races of the season, with a sweep in St. Petersburg and another win in Long Beach, and finished third in the championship at year’s end.
It’s only October but the continuity, the caliber of the Carlin team and Jones’ undoubted potential should see the 20-year-old installed as an early championship favorite next year.
“Continuity isn’t something which you get to enjoy too often in junior motor racing but when you can achieve it, for sure it is a help,” Jones said in a team release. “Both the team and I know each other very well. I have built a good understanding with the engineers and I feel we work well together. We all have a season under our belt now and we have all raised the bar and will be pushing very hard for more success in 2016.
“The goal for 2016 is to win the Indy Lights championship. I learnt a huge amount in 2015 and feel that I have a great base to go for the championship in 2016. I have a great relationship with my team Carlin and I believe in them completely. Carlin as a team have achieved a great deal but they haven’t won a championship in US motor racing and I want to be the driver who delivers that.”
Added racing director Trevor Carlin, “We’re delighted that Ed remains with the team for the 2016 season. He showed great faith in moving over from Europe with us for our first season in Indy Lights and demonstrated to everyone how competitive he was in winning the first three races of the season.
“In his rookie season in the US and having never visited most of the tracks before, Ed did a spectacular job to still be in contention for the title at the season finale. With a season of Indy Lights behind us there are undoubtedly things that team and driver have learnt together and we aim to put these lessons to good use in 2016 with the title clearly being the aim.”
Carlin told MotorSportsTalk at the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca last month that he hopes to expand the two-car team into as many as four cars next year. Max Chilton is in the process of working to move up to IndyCar next season.