MRTI: Jones, O’Ward, Martin score Friday Indy GP wins

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INDIANPOLIS – Fuller reports on the Mazda Road to Indy weekend at the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis will follow next week, but the first three of six races are in the books on Friday.

The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires was the barnburner of the day with Ed Jones scoring a dramatic win in Round 6 of the season from pole, and becoming the series’ first repeat winner in the process.

Jones captured the win following a chaotic, bizarre Lap 27 restart that saw the lead change hands three times. Dean Stoneman and Santiago Urrutia also had a sniff of the top spot but Stoneman and Urrutia ran wide at Turn 7, which opened the door for Jones to get back by in his Carlin entry. Stoneman had made the move to Jones’ inside at Turn 1 to start the lap and assume the lead.

There was also a mess of moves behind them, ultimately ending with Belardi Auto Racing teammates Felix Rosenqvist and Zach Veach finishing fourth and fifth.

Less eventful were the opening rounds of the weekend for the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, also won by polesitters Pato O’Ward and Anthony Martin respectively.

O’Ward controlled the Pro Mazda race, a caution-free 40-minute affair, over Juncos Racing’s Will Owen and Jake Parsons. A first lap off-course excursion helped relegate O’Ward’s Team Pelfrey teammate Aaron Telitz to seventh. O’Ward meanwhile has his fourth win in five races to open the year.

In USF2000, Martin becomes the fourth winner in five races joining Jordan Lloyd, Yufeng Luo and Parker Thompson. The Australian driver for Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing inherited the pole following an earlier disqualification for Luke Gabin of JAY Motorsports, after Gabin blew the checkered flag in qualifying.

Martin then held off Thompson for the rest of the race, with Victor Franzoni of ArmsUp Motorsports completing the podium.

Second races for each of the three will follow on Saturday.