TORONTO -- The three Mazda Road to Indy series completed their weekend doubleheaders today on the streets of Exhibition Place, with significant results in each race.
A proud Canadian took the checkered flag in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda, the Pro Mazda Championship presented by Cooper Tires winner moved into a tie for the points lead and Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires saw pure domination by a driver returning to the series.
Felix Rosenqvist completes Indy Lights weekend sweep
Belardi Auto Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist picked up where he left off Saturday, leading every lap for the second straight day and taking his third checkered flag of the Indy Lights season. Rosenqvist got the drop on the field again in his No. 14 Karlsson Svensson Projekt Dallara IL-15 and wasn’t threatened.
“From when we unloaded the car off the truck, the car was fantastic to drive,” said Rosenqvist, who missed the past three Indy Lights rounds due to other commitments. “Belardi Auto Racing made a fantastic setup that was like what we had at St. Pete (when he won his other 2016 race).
“I just felt so confident out there on the street course. To win two races, I honestly couldn’t expect to come here after being away, but when it feels good, there’s no reason why you can’t go for it.”
Coming in second was a nice rebound for Andre Negrao in the No. 17 Novac Sports Dallara after finishing 11th in Saturday’s race. Kyle Kaiser placed third to earn his second podium of the weekend.
After 13 of 18 races this season, Ed Jones maintains the points lead with 268. Santiago Urrutia (Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian), who finished fourth today, moved into second in the championship, 24 points behind Jones. Dean Stoneman, unable to start today’s race with a mechanical issue, took a major hit in the points, dropping to third in the standings, 31 points behind Jones.
Telitz sweeps Pro Mazda to tie teammate in standings
Aaron Telitz completed the Toronto sweep with a wire-to-wire win in the Pro Mazda race. Telitz again started from the pole position and built a massive lead he would not relinquish.
While never truly challenged for the lead, Telitz was focused on keeping Team Pelfrey teammate Pato O’Ward from getting the point for fastest lap of the race. By winning and clocking the fastest lap, Telitz tied O’Ward atop the Pro Mazda standings after 11 of 16 races.
“Every point is going to count in this championship,” Telitz said. “It’s going to come down to one or two points most likely by the end.
“I was glad that Tom (Knapp, Telitz’s engineer) told me that Pato had done a faster lap, so I tried to get a faster lap and managed to do it to bring home another point.”
O’Ward finished the race second to minimize damage suffered when he crashed out on the first lap of Saturday’s race. The Team Pelfrey teammates, who have won every race this season, are knotted in the championship with 297 points heading to Mid-Ohio in two weeks.
Canada’s Thompson elated to win USF2000 race on home soil
Parker Thompson captured his fifth win of the season today in USF2000, but none has been more important. A native of Red Deer, Alberta, the 18-year-old was elated to win on his home soil.
“I feel proud to get a win for the Canadians here, pretty deserving,” Thompson said. “We haven’t had too many wins over the last few years on our home soil, so to be able to do that for them is pretty special.”
Thompson took the lead from Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing teammate Anthony Martin on the race’s first restart on Lap 3 and was virtually uncontested the remainder of the race. Martin, racing with a sore hand, closed on his teammate’s rear wing as the two navigated lapped traffic but was unable to mount a charge.
Thompson’s win gives him a 22-point advantage on Martin in the USF2000 championship after 11 races and heading into a pivotal tripleheader weekend July 29-31 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.