Top three drivers in Indy Lights points placed on probation

Urrutia, Jones, Stoneman at GPI. Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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The good news for Ed Jones, Dean Stoneman and Santiago Urrutia in this year’s Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires is that they’ve become the three most likely protagonists in the battle for the championship, with one of them a strong candidate to win the title and secure the Mazda advancement scholarship into the Verizon IndyCar Series that comes with it.

The bad news is that aggression has more than occasionally shown through in their driving habits in the opening nine races this season, with each of the three driving more aggressively than normal in at least one of the two Indy Lights races this past weekend at Road America.

Stoneman and Urrutia were both issued five second time penalties added to the end of their race times on Saturday for hitting another competitor on track. Then on Sunday, Jones was the aggressor, as he drove Stoneman off the road on the run up to Turn 6.

For their actions, all three drivers have been placed on probation through the end of the season, which is essentially a big warning from the series to say clean your act up or you’ll suffer more serious sanctions.

Jones has 213 points with Stoneman second on 194 and Urrutia third on 189.

Here’s the release from the series out today:

Three drivers today were placed on probation by Race Director Tony Cotman following Rounds 8 and 9 of Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires competition at Road America this past weekend.

Dean Stoneman of Andretti Autosport, Santiago Urrutia of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports w/ Curb-Agajanian and Ed Jones of Carlin have been placed on probation through the end of the 2016 season for misconduct leading up to and including the Road America event. If Stoneman, Urrutia and/or Jones are involved in any additional incidents including unsportsmanlike conduct and dangerous or over aggressive driving as determined by the Race Director, they will be penalized with the loss of a minimum of 10 championship points.

“The notices issued do not preclude a driver from racing hard, but serve as a reminder on how to race over the final eight rounds of the championship,” said Cotman.

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.