After an eventful Saturday, the top two rungs of the Mazda Road to Indy took to the track today for their final races of the weekend.
Indy Lights kicked the morning off with second-generation racer Colton Herta driving to a dominant flag-to-flag victory. It was only his second career Indy Lights start, after he finished second in his series debut Saturday.
Herta took advantage of the pole position, pulling away at the start to an early lead. Unfortunately for the young American driver, there was more Lap 1 carnage as Nico Jamin and Neil Alberico were involved in an incident.
The restart proved no trouble for Herta, as he once again began to pull away from the rest of the field. Further back in the pack, 2016 Pro Mazda runner-up Pato O’Ward took advantage of the bunched-up field, as he weaved his way to third. The rookie quickly set his sights on second place driver Santiago Urrutia, but was never able to secure the pass.
A handful of mid-race cautions negated his three second lead, but Herta still cruised his way to a 1.7797 gap victory ahead of Santiago Urrutia. After originally losing the position, O’Ward was able to once again battle his way to third. Kyle Kaiser and 2016 Pro Mazda champ Aaron Telitz rounded out the top five.
In Pro Mazda, 2016 USF2000 champ Anthony Martin continued his undefeated 2017 streak by claiming his second win in as many races.
Martin lead from the pole, and was never truly able to pull away from the field as Victor Franzoni gave chase. The entire top four were within single car-lengths of each other, with third place Cunha passing Franzoni for second on Lap 19. Unfortunately for the Brazilian driver, he retired with a mechanical failure on the next lap.
Martin found a slight buffer in using Cunha’s car, as he opened up a slight gap over Franzoni. An untimely yellow quickly followed though, after an incident in Turn 9 involving national class driver Kevin Davis.
The yellow wouldn’t be enough, however, as Martin opened up a second lead over Franzoni after the green flew. He made quick work of the final leg of the race and cruised to victory lane. In a repeat of yesterday’s podium, Tj Fischer finished third.
Indy Lights will return on April 21-23, for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. The entire Mazda Road to Indy will return on May 12-13, for the Indianapolis Grand Prix.