No.7 bags podium no.7! Lap 44: Jean-Karl Vernay seems to have found the opening and tries to slip past James Hinchcliffe on the exit from Turn 1. The two drivers come into the entry to the following chicane side-by-side. But in a split second,...
No.7 bags podium no.7!
Lap 44: Jean-Karl Vernay seems to have found the opening and tries to slip past James Hinchcliffe on the exit from Turn 1. The two drivers come into the entry to the following chicane side-by-side. But in a split second, Vernay quickly decides it's not the right moment to go for bust. A week after his victory in Toronto, the driver from Villeurbanne decides to hang on to his second place and rack up his seventh podium in eight races!
As Hinchcliffe pointed out, the result of the race was virtually decided in qualifying. JK was on provisional pole for most of the session, and when he went out on his last set of new tyres, he got caught up in traffic and the Canadian set the fastest lap by 1/100s. It was a bitter pill to swallow for the Frenchman as the circuit offered few passing opportunities. It was laid out on the Edmonton City Centre Airport, and was really a city circuit as it was a non-permanent layout, but it also resembled a road track. Its bumpy surface meant that the race would be hard on both men and machines.
At the start, JK slotted in behind Hinchcliffe and the gap between the two drivers rarely exceeded a second throughout the 50-lap race. They quickly pulled away from their pursuers and the neutralization between laps 13 and 15 did not change anything. The Sam Schmidt Motorsport driver was quicker in turns 12, 13 and 14, which gave him just that one opportunity to pass his rival. "I thought of points and I didn't want to risk a collision," admitted JK after the finish. "Unlike Watkins Glen, he didn't make any mistakes. As a result of running just behind him, I ran into tyre wear problems, and the final laps were a bit difficult. I'm disappointed with this result as I'd have liked to increase my lead in the provisional classification even more."
But overall, Vernay is in a fairly comfortable position as he has a 55-point lead over the Canadian who drives for Moore Racing. After three events in which they have gone at it hammer and tongs for victory, the battle for the title looks like being a duel between JK, the rookie, and JH back for his second season. There are five rounds to go, including three next month starting with the Mid Ohio Sports Car Course meeting on 7-8 August when the Indy Lights will share the bill with not only the Indycar Series, but also the American Le Mans Series. Before this important event, JK will mutate into Jean-Karl and will take a few days' well-earned holidays in France!