After two hard-fought races, Meyer claimed ninth in race one and eighth in race two.
Leeds, Ala. – After qualifying a somewhat disappointing ninth on Friday, 21-year-old Canadian Indy Lights racer Zack Meyer knew he had two opportunities to try and work his way up the order in the first doubleheader weekend of the 2014 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season. The Legacy Indy Lights 100 featured a 40-minute sprint race on Saturday and a 60-minute feature race on Sunday, with Meyer starting both races in ninth. After two hard-fought races, Meyer claimed ninth in race one and eighth in race two.
Race one saw Meyer fight through an early race shuffle that eventually saw him settle his #2 TMR/DAMIS PARTNERS III/Innisfil Indy Karting/Xtreme Coil Drilling car into ninth place, just behind his Team Moore Racing teammate Vittorio Ghirelli. It was a hot, steamy 30-lap race, with Meyer closely chasing Ghirelli for the duration of the race, but ultimately he was unable to make a pass and advance his position.
“We finished P9, which wasn’t great, but heading to race two I think we have a fighting chance for a top five tomorrow as long as I get a very good start to the race,” Meyer reflected after Saturday’s race. “I learned a little more about the cars, the tires, the heat, and how the different rubber compounds on the track have an effect on the car. Now we know how to fix that and improve our pace.”
With Sunday’s race taking place under cooler conditions with an imminent threat for rain, the field took the green flag a few minutes ahead of the original schedule in order to be the incoming thunderstorms. When the green was displayed, Meyer battled with Ghirelli yet again, with Ghirelli just squeezing by on the first lap in Turn 5. Meyer was then unfortunately was overtaken by Juan Pablo Garcia, but not without a little bumping and banging in an intense battle for the position. Garcia also slipped past Ghirelli and disappeared, but Meyer remained focused on making up places. Meyer was eventually able to execute a successful pass on his teammate, reclaiming ninth for the Canadian. With the retirement of Matthew Brabham, Meyer was promoted to eighth, where he stayed until the slightly premature end of the race due to rain on Lap 38 of 40, equaling his best finish of the season at St. Petersburg, Fla.
“We had a good battle with Juan Pablo Garcia, normal racing but maybe a little harder because it wasn’t my teammate,” relayed Meyer after Sunday’s race. “The car was much better today, but unfortunately it took me way too long to get by Vittorio which really hurt me a lot. I think we fixed the car pretty well, and now we are primed to be solid at IMS and we should be able to put together a strong qualifying session and two good races.”
Meyer and Team Moore Racing return to action May 8-10 when Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires takes to the newly redesigned Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course as part of the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis weekend.