MRTI notebook: Rosenqvist dominates in Toronto Indy Lights opener

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TORONTO – Felix Rosenqvist continued enjoying life on the streets of Toronto with a dominating win Saturday in the first of two Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires races on the temporary circuit at Exhibition Place.

Rosenqvist got a jump at the start of the 35-lap race in his No. 14 Karlsson Svensson Projekt Dallara IL-15 and immediately built a healthy lead over Belardi Auto Racing teammate Zach Veach until the yellow flag flew on Lap 10 for a Turn 3 crash involving Juan Piedrahita and Zachary Claman De Melo.

After another full-course caution for Neil Alberico’s crash in Turn 2, the racing finally got back under way with 19 minutes remaining. Rosenqvist picked up where he left off and never faltered to the end and crossed the line 7.3433 seconds ahead of Carlin’s Felix Serralles.

“It was unbelievable,” Rosenqvist said. “I just have to thank Belardi Auto Racing for putting together a perfect car all weekend. Since first practice it has been a dream to drive.

“There were a couple of moments when it was a bit hairy with Felix (Serralles) behind me after the safety car, but apart from that it was a dream to drive.”

Serralles claimed his second straight podium, while Kyle Kaiser took his first podium since the second race of the GP of Indianapolis. Veach was on place for a podium until the steering failed on his No. 5 car and he crashed in Turn 10 on the final lap.

Aaron TelitzHeading into Sunday’s race, Carlin’s Ed Jones leads Andretti Autosport’s Dean Stoneman by 21 points in the Lights standings. Jones finished Saturday’s race sixth and Stoneman finished fifth. Santiago Urrutia (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian) is 26 points behind Jones and Serralles 27 out of the lead.

Telitz wins Pro Mazda race to tighten championship battle

Wisconsin’s Aaron Telitz led all 24 laps to win, while Team Pelfrey teammate and points leader Pato O’Ward crashed out on the first lap, as the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires championship became a battle again.

Telitz beat Nico Jamin (Juncos Racing) across the finish line by 2.5327 seconds in the 24-lap event to notch his third consecutive Pro Mazda win. With O’Ward finishing ninth and last, Telitz closed within five points of the leader following the 10th of 16 races.

Race 2 of the doubleheader weekend is Sunday.

Franzoni wins first USF2000 race of 2016

Victor FranzoniVictor Franzoni broke through to claim his first Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda win of the season Saturday on the streets of Toronto in the first race of a doubleheader weekend.

The Brazilian driver for ArmsUp Motorsports got the jump on pole sitter Anthony Martin at the start and held off a few charges from Martin throughout the day until Martin crashed on Lap 14. Franzoni then kept Jordan Lloyd at bay on the restart to cruise to an easy win.

“I knew had to do something to go to first because I knew I wasn’t fast,” said Franzoni. “I tried a really crazy move going into the first turn and it worked. Then I was just lucky the whole race and it was really good.”

Martin’s crash allowed Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing teammate Parker Thompson, who finished the race in third place, to take the championship lead by 17 points. Franzoni’s win keeps him third in points, 35 behind Thompson.

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