Sonoma: JK Vernay race report

All OK for JK in the US of A! Jean-Karl Vernay had a dream weekend in California on the Infineon Raceway road circuit in Sonoma. He started from pole and dominated the race from start to finish to bag the maximum score of 53 points. Thanks to...

All OK for JK in the US of A!

Jean-Karl Vernay had a dream weekend in California on the Infineon Raceway road circuit in Sonoma. He started from pole and dominated the race from start to finish to bag the maximum score of 53 points. Thanks to his fifth victory, which helped him to increase his lead over his immediate pursuer in the Firestone Lights Championship chase, he can tackle the remaining races on the speedways in a relaxed frame of mind.

Two weeks ago, he had a frustrating weekend in Mid-Ohio, as despite his best efforts he could do no better than an eight-place finish. His main rival in the championship chase, James Hinchcliffe, did him a big favour by going off with the finish in sight, dropping from second to seventh place, reducing the Frenchman's lead by only 2 points.

But JK doesn't want to be labelled with the image of a bean counter and he was more determined than ever to get back on the winner's trail. Thus for once, he arranged to compensate in part for his relative lack of knowledge of the circuits in relation to his direct rivals at the start of the meetings, even if in general he has come out pretty well afterwards. "I went to the Jim Russell Racing School here in Sonoma to familiarise myself with the track before the first practice session. I didn't cover a large number of laps, but I think it helped me to be on the pace straight away." He was among the top four in the free sessions and set pole in qualifying. He followed up this feat with fastest time in the warm-up, victory and fastest lap in the race - a clean sweep!

Some races are easier to describe than others, and this one fell in the first category. JK made the best start and immediately opened up a gap, which was cancelled out by a neutralization. But the driver from Villeurbanne had no problems pulling out a few seconds' lead on the restart - that was again reduced to naught by another safety car intervention! Charlie Kimball posed a threat to the Frenchman for the next five laps, until JK drove away again and crossed the finishing line with 3 seconds in hand.

"I'm particularly happy to have won here in the presence of my family two weeks after my Mid-Ohio setback. Sam Schmidt Motorsport gave me a great car and I'd like to thank them as well as CJ Motorsport, my management team. My next aim is to win on an oval!" JK will attempt to achieve this objective this coming weekend (28/29 August) on the Chicagoland Speedway.

-source: www.jkvernay.com

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Sam Schmidt , Charlie Kimball , James Hinchcliffe , Jean-Karl Vernay