St. Pete: Anderson Racing race report

Andersen Racing's Jorda Finishes 11th in Her First Firestone Indy Lights Race ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., March 28 - While some of the veterans were making wild moves that didn't work out or becoming victims of the wild moves of others, Andersen ...

Andersen Racing's Jorda Finishes 11th in Her First Firestone Indy Lights Race

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., March 28 - While some of the veterans were making wild moves that didn't work out or becoming victims of the wild moves of others, Andersen Racing's Carmen Jorda successfully finished her first Firestone Indy Lights race ever Sunday on the St. Petersburg street circuit. She survived difficult weather conditions that made the track very slippery and turned a 15th place starting position into an 11th-place finish.

With sprinkles of the rain that postponed the IZOD IndyCar Series race until Monday already beginning to fall at the start of the Firestone Indy Lights race, the track conditions were challenging. James Winslow spun before the 35-lap race on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn street course even started. Turn 1 on the first lap was disastrous for polesitter James Hinchcliffe and Philip Major, who were both out early due to contact. A little further up the track, Turn 8 to be exact, Adrian Campos Jr. slammed into a tire barrier and was also forced to retire.

That moved Jorda into 11th place.

She advanced to tenth when the other woman in the race, Pippa Mann, spun on lap three under a full-course yellow. Two laps later Jorda was up to eighth after Sebastian Saavedra, Martin Plowman and Charlie Kimball came together in Turn 3.

At that point the officials red-flagged the race so the crews could change their Firestone Firehawk slicks to rain tires.

Jorda slid off into a run-off area in Turn 1 with 12 laps down to cause a local yellow flag, but she was able to continue. That dropped her to 12th place. She ran in that position until lap 26 when Saavedra hit the wall between Turns 8 and 9, which put her back into 11th position.

An official weather advisory was issued to the crowd with 29 laps down, recommending that the fans take cover. Rodrigo Barbosa and Jonathan Summerton went off the track later due to the adverse conditions but Jorda kept her car pointed in the right direction and was rewarded with an 11th place finish at the end for herself, her team and her sponsors: NTGS, Hola!, ASAP Marketing, Air Europa, Pepetravel.com and Allied Building Products Corp.

The young driver from Alcoy, Spain earned $13,000, including a $1,000 bonus from Firestone.

"I'm glad I finished the race," Jorda said afterwards. "I had a difficult time with my brakes in the rain, but I'm happy I stayed on the track and finished."

"We're very pleased to finish a race held under very nasty conditions with no accidents," added team co-owner John Andersen. "This was Carmen's first race ever in this car. She finished and she had no damage. It was a good day."

J.K. Vernay won Sunday's race over Jan Heylen and Stefan Wilson.

The next Firestone Indy Lights race is Sunday, April 11 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.

-source: andersen racing

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Charlie Kimball , Jan Heylen , Pippa Mann , Adrian Campos , James Hinchcliffe , Sebastian Saavedra , Martin Plowman , Jonathan Summerton , James Winslow , Stefan Wilson , Rodrigo Barbosa , Carmen Jorda