Saavedra Finishes Third at Watkins Glen
Sebastian Saavedra collected his second consecutive podium finish this afternoon with a third-place run in the Corning 100 at Watkins Glen International. This was his third podium of the season on the heels of a victory at Iowa two weeks ago and a third-place result at Barber Motorsport Park in April, and his 10th career Firestone Indy Lights podium in 21 starts.
Saavedra started fourth in the #29 William Rast entry. He moved into third on the opening lap and remained relatively unchallenged during the 29-lap race with the top three contenders pulling clear of the rest of the field. With today's result, Saavedra moved up from fourth to third in the championship.
It was a day of misfortune for teammate Stefan Wilson who was on pace from the start of track activities and qualified a career-best second. Wilson retired with an engine problem on Lap 13 and was classified 12th. This was only the second time that he has finished outside the top seven this year, retiring with an electrical problem in Long Beach. Wilson is currently sixth in the standings.
Bryan Herta Autosport will return to competition in two weeks as the Series crosses the border to contest the tight and challenging temporary street circuit in downtown Toronto on July 18. Saavedra started on pole and won last year's race in Toronto with Wilson finishing fourth in only his fifth Indy Lights start.
Sebastian Saavedra, #29 William Rast Dallara/Firestone: "It was a tough race. It was a race where surviving that first corner was going to be critical. We actually lost a position to [Martin] Plowman there, which I was able to get back going into Turns Two and Three. From then on, it was a matter of keeping the pace. I was able to run with the front guys. We were faster than the others and we pulled away. We had a couple of yellow flags that packed the field but we knew we were strong. The car was getting better every lap and that showed the good setup we had. Compared to [J.K] Vernay, we were running a bit more downforce and that hurt us a little bit. In the long run, I think it was something positive and I am very happy for the team. We are back in the game and third in the championship, very close to [James] Hinchcliffe. Vernay was able to add some more points so we need to work harder."
Stefan Wilson, #28 Dallara/Firestone: "It was really an unfortunate end to what was looking like a promising weekend for us. The #28 guys and everyone at Bryan Herta Autosport did a great job all weekend. We were P2 in the practices and qualifying and it is unfortunate to go out how we did."