Indy GP Indy Lights: Herta wins despite Turn 1 incident
Colton Herta drove the Andretti Steinbrenner Racing entry to his first victory of the year, despite being run off the road on the opening turn of the first lap in Indy Lights' Race 1 on the IMS road course.
Santi Urrutia hit the front after the first corner of the seven-car race, because although he was coming from fifth on the grid, he saw a fracas developing ahead, and he chose to play it smart. Victor Franzoni’s Juncos car gently nudged the polesitting Andretti Autosport car of Pato O’Ward onto the grass at Turn 1, an incident which also sent second-placed starter Colton Herta out wide.
Thus Urrutia on the inside line was able to cleanly slip his Belardi Auto Racing car into the lead followed by Franzoni and the second Belardi car of Aaron Telitz.
Telitz soon came under pressure from the recovering O’Ward and Herta, although young Colton tried a not-quite-there attempt to grab fourth from O’Ward at Turn 1 on Lap 7. Two laps later, he got it just right and had a clear path at trying to salvage a podium.
That job was done for him when Franzoni, having failed to make an outside pass on leader Urrutia at Turn 7, lost momentum and three corners later was on the grass while trying to defend from a charging Telitz.
However, Telitz had now also lost momentum, allowing Herta onto his tail and past around the outside of Turn 1 on Lap 12. Three laps later, Herta replicated the move on Urrutia, despite the Uruguayan star’s attempts to block him.
Herta then pulled away to win by five seconds, while Urrutia held off Telitz to take best of the rest. O’Ward clocked fourth despite Ryan Norman’s best attempts to depose him, the pair of them remaining clear of Franzoni. Dalton Kellett was seventh and last.
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Indy GP Indy Lights: Herta sweeps weekend after fierce battle