Sebastian Saavedra Wins Firestone Indy Lights Race at Barber Motorsports Park
Sebastian Saavedra is the winner of today's Firestone Indy Lights race at the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, driving the Team AFS Racing / Andretti Autosport entry. Saavedra started from the pole, and led each of the 40 laps.
This is the fourth career Firestone Indy Lights victory (in 28 starts) for the 21-year-old resident of Indianapolis, Indiana. It is the first career win on a natural-terrain road course for the native of Bogota, Colombia.
Saavedra's past wins are: Toronto (2009/AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport), Kansas (2009/AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport) and Iowa (2010/Bryan Herta Autosport). He finished third in the Firestone Indy Lights points championship and earned the Rookie of the Year award in 2009.
In 2010, Saavedra made his IZOD IndyCar Series debut at the 2010 Indianapolis 500 with Bryan Herta Autosport, where he was the youngest driver in the field of 33 cars. He competed in the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2011 for Conquest Racing and recorded 13 starts, to finish 25th in the point standings.
Andretti Autosport has two Firestone Indy Lights titles (2008 and 2009).
Andretti Autosport has two entries in the 2012 Firestone Indy Lights series, with Saavedra and Carlos Muñoz (Team Dialy-Ser). Andretti Autosport is the only team with entries in each of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder series categories.
Sebastian Saavedra, Team AFS Racing / Andretti Autosport, No. 27
Saavedra won his fourth career Indy Lights race by leading all 40 laps from the pole position.
"I think we did an incredible job. The car was great in the beginning and we were able to manage a very good gap on Tristan (Vautier, second-place finisher). Later on, we started saving tires, but that didn't work out too well. Tristan started closing in on me, but fortunately there were only five laps to go. The restart threw me curve ball, but I think we kept a very cool head, were very calm, and we did it perfectly. I am very happy. Unfortunately my teammate was not by my side on the podium. However, I want to thank my AFS Racing/Andretti Autosport team for all of their hard work and getting us very important points for the championship." Carlos Muñoz, Team Dialy-Ser, No. 26
Muñoz ran most of the race in the third position until a late-race spin. He finished 14th.
"We pushed really hard throughout the race. We were doing well and the first caution was to our advantage. Unfortunately, as the race went along, my tires started getting very slick because they were worn and I pushed the car too hard and spun around. I want to thank my Andretti Autosport crew for all of their hard work. We'll look towards Long Beach."