Andersen Racing's Kasemets Finishes Sixth, Jorda 15th In Toronto Firestone Indy Lights Race Sunday TORONTO, Ontario, July 18 - Andersen Racing's Tonis Kasemets of Mundelein, Ill. clawed his way from ninth to a sixth-place finish in the Toronto...
Andersen Racing's Kasemets Finishes Sixth, Jorda 15th In Toronto Firestone Indy Lights Race Sunday
TORONTO, Ontario, July 18 - Andersen Racing's Tonis Kasemets of Mundelein, Ill. clawed his way from ninth to a sixth-place finish in the Toronto 100 Firestone Indy Lights race Sunday morning on the Toronto street circuit. His teammate, Carmen Jorda of Miami, got as high as 12th before retiring after a spin to finish in the same position that she started, 15th.
Kasemets (whose name is pronounced Toe-NEES KAHZ-uh-mets), had his hands full throughout the 50-lap race on the 1.755-mile, 11-turn street course that is very tight and therefore generates single-file racing. The drivers who finished right in front and right behind him set the fastest laps of the race.
Stefan Wilson, who finished fifth, set the fastest lap of the race on lap 17 with a 1:05.8173 (95.993 miles per hour). The driver who finished seventh, Martin Plowman, had the second-fastest lap of the race with a 1:05.9094 (95.859 mph) on lap 43. The fastest lap Kasemets turned in the Andersen Racing No. 5, which is sponsored by Flexovit, Allied Building Products, Northcentral Construction and the Novotel Toronto North York hotel, was a 1:06.3252 (95.258 mph) on lap 42.
Kasemet's fastest race lap was faster than his qualifying speed and even faster than the 1:06.7397 he ran in Sunday's warm-up session, where the native of Parnu, Estonia posted the third-fastest time.
Kasemets started the race in ninth place, beside Wilson. Wilson passed him at the start, but Kasemets got him back before the lap was completed to move back into ninth. He advanced into eighth place in the next few laps, and then there was a scuffle behind him after which Plowman had to pit for a new front wing. With eight laps down Wilson flew off into a runoff area off Turn 3, and a couple of laps later Philip Major brought out a local yellow in Turn 8 when he went into a tire wall. At that point Jorda, a native of Alcoy, Spain, passed the driver she'd been battling with since the start of the race, Rodrigo Barbosa.
On lap 14 Kasemets moved into seventh place with a dramatic move to the inside and a big display of brake smoke. The top six cars had a big cushion at that point, however, so he was forced to try to play catch-up in order to reach the sixth-place driver, Charlie Kimball, and move up any higher. The interval between sixth and seventh was 5 seconds with 21 laps down.
Jorda was in 12th place by then, running between Wilson and Plowman after their early difficulties. Unfortunately she did a 180-degree spin in Turn 8 with 24 laps down. She didn't have any contact with a tire wall or another competitor, but she brought out a full-course caution and was forced to retire at that point. Without the spin she very well may have finished at least eighth, as she had passed Barbosa and he was ninth at the checkered.
Although disappointed that she wasn't able to duplicate the top-10 finish she got at Long Beach, Jorda was happy to receive a $1,000 bonus from Firestone for her efforts in addition to her regular prize money. Jorda is a native of Alcoy, Spain, and her No. 4 featured decals lauding Spain's recent Soccer World Cup Championship as well as her regular supporters: ASAP Sports, NTGS.es, iHOLA!, Air Europa and pepetravel.com.
The only drivers who weren't glad to see the full-course caution were Jorda and the leader from the on-set and eventual winner, J.K. Vernay, as it allowed the drivers to take a break and to pack up the field.
Kimball passed Sebastian Saavedra for fifth place on the restart with 28 laps down. Kasemets was still in seventh, but now he was chasing Saavedra instead of Kimball. He got around Saavedra for sixth place with 30 laps down, right before the event's second full-course caution waved on lap 31 when Adrian Campos Jr. and James Winslow plowed into the tires off Turn 8.
The green flew again with 33 laps down, with Kasemets still in sixth. Saavedra pitted with a problem with his car's gearbox on lap 34, so after that Kasemets was about 1.6 seconds behind Kimball and working hard to hold off Wilson.
Kimball stretched his interval to over 2 seconds in the next few laps, and Wilson finally got around Kasemets with 44 laps down to push him to seventh place. Campos spun in Turn 8 with 48 laps down, but no full-course caution was required that time.
Kasemets advanced one more spot when the second-place driver, James Hinchcliffe, got into a tire wall off Turn 5 on the last lap. He was 2.5553 seconds behind the fifth-place driver, Wilson, and 1.3402 seconds behind the seventh-place driver, Plowman, at the checkered.
The top-five finishers were Vernay, Dan Clarke, Gustavo Yacaman, Kimball and Wilson. Vernay led every lap.
The next race is coming right up next Sunday at City Centre Raceway in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
-source: andersen racing