Scuderia Corsa 2019 IndyCar Review

Scuderia Corsa took on a considerable challenge in 2019 by running a full season of street course races in the NTT IndyCar series while still competing in both IMSA and Ferrari Challenge.

Team Owner Giacomo Mattioli selected driver Ed Jones and enlisted the help of Ed Carpenter Racing to run the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet for the tremendous effort. Over the 2019 season, the team showcased immense speed and reached new highs, most notably in May during both the IndyCar Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500, while overcoming the obstacles presented in racing.

Scuderia Corsa sat down with Jones to review his third NTT IndyCar year. He recaptures the best moments and gives us his take on how the series is shaping as he looks ahead to 2020.

Scuderia: Looking back, what would you list as your top three moments this year?

Jones: "I think the whole build-up to Indy was the best part of the year, definitely my favorite. We had a test day where we were the fastest, I had the fastest no-tow speed in May, we were fastest overall on one of the final practice days, and in qualifying, we were the fastest in top speed. The Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet reached 241 mph which no one else achieved the entire month or year. We also did well at the Indy GP and Toronto, making it into the Fast Six. We had some great starts this year overall. They were good steps, and hopefully, the team can continue to capitalize on that."

 

Scuderia: The month of May was an excellent performance overall, what do you think makes that race so unique?

Jones: "I think for me, it's the race that really stood out my rookie season. It's always been a special race for me because of that moment. It's the biggest race of the year with more people in attendance than any other venue. It's so challenging being on an oval and racing 500 miles. You have to get everything right; you aren't allowed to rest. If you don't get everything right, you will not get the overall result, and that is what makes it the most rewarding race of all. It's part luck but part talent. You can be down a lap at one point and still win the race; you never know what can happen."

Scuderia: With the Indy 500 as your only oval, did you miss running ovals this year?

Jones: "I enjoy ovals, they're a different type of challenge so yes I would have liked to have done more. The way racing has gone, it's a fortunate thing, they've made many safety improvements. Those changes, in my opinion, take away a bit of the fear factor. I think you have to have a thrill. It's only on an oval that racing gets frightening at points. As a driver, you need moments like that as it makes it more rewarding mentally when you get it right."

Scuderia: How do you think IndyCar competition fairs on a world stage against other series?

Jones: "I think it is a super competitive series; however, between the teams, there is probably a bigger difference than people think there is. What was highlighted to me this year is how important it is to have the whole package, just the right people in every position. You have to have it all to really compete. I've been impressed with how much the series has grown, even in the three years since I've been over here. It seems like everyone is taking the extra step needed to keep growing."

Scuderia: There seemed to be an emphasis on younger drivers this year, what's your take on highlighting the rookies and new drivers?

Jones: "You did see younger drivers doing well at certain races, which is great for the series because the older guys only have so much time to keep going. However, if you look at the drivers at the head of the championship are the older guys, someone consistently there every race. That's what the younger guys are missing is the experience and consistency. I think that comes with time."

Scuderia: You alone were Scuderia Corsa's representation on that stage, did you feel well supported from Scuderia Corsa?

Jones: "I thought the Scuderia representation was great all year. When you're racing the people, you work with make a difference. It is important to have good people around you. We've shown flashes of brilliance this year, but we had our tough moments as well. Scuderia has the experience themselves on the sportscar side to know how to get through it. They know how the whole show works. I really appreciated having Giacomo this year specifically. It was nice to be able to decompress with someone outside of the weekend and have extra support."

Scuderia: We have to give credit where it is due, would you like to thank our partners?

Jones: "Yes, of course, thank you to Scuderia Corsa for the season; it's been a pleasure. I have to thank Pacific Western Bank for their support through the entirety of the season as well as Copter and their effort. Also, thank you to WeatherTech for their support at the 500. I appreciate them all for making this year possible."

The 2019 NTT IndyCar season presented a learning curve for Scuderia Corsa. The team attacked the challenge with the steady endurance it shows in every form of racing. Leading the charge was none other than Mattioli. He enjoyed the process of his first full IndyCar effort and the second year running the Indianapolis 500 while the business of racing is never predictable Mattioli calmly took in stride each new experience the season brought.

"I think we can be proud of what we accomplished," Mattioli said. "In racing, you will always have days that are better than others, but we had plenty of good days this year. We would not have been able to make it possible without Ed Carpenter Racing and the hard work their team provided. I am also thankful for Pacific Western Bank for their support in our program as well as Copter. It's true, without them none of this is possible."

Scuderia Corsa Takes on Final IndyCar Race of 2019

Scuderia Corsa celebrates the 2019 NTT IndyCar Series season finale with Ed Jones at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey in what will mark the end of a 15-year hiatus for IndyCar since last running the road course.

Scuderia Corsa caps the NTT IndyCar season off by making history with the North American open-wheel series in its long-awaited return to historic Laguna Seca. Jones will wheel the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet around the 2.238-mile, 11-turn road course for his final time this year. He will battle down the famed Corkscrew, Turn 8, taking on 300 feet of elevation change. With one last podium up for grabs, the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey is sure to be an intense battle.

WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca's motorsport history covers numerous forms of racing including NTT IndyCar, MotoGP, IMSA and many more. With Mattioli Automotive Group dealerships nearby Scuderia Corsa considers WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca home, making it a fitting venue for the close of the 2019 IndyCar season.

For Jones Laguna Seca brings back good memories and marks the start of a new goal.

"I'm looking forward to going back to Laguna Seca," Jones said. "Last time I raced there I won the championship in Indy Lights, so it has a good history for me. Obviously, we hope to have some similar success in the coming weekend. I think it will be tough again. I'd like to make the most of the last race of the weekend and have something good to look back on. I'm actually looking forward to finishing the season so we can start working towards next year."

The final NTT IndyCar weekend of 2019 begins with practice Friday, Sept 20. Practice One takes place at 10:30 a.m. PT followed by Practice Two at 2:10 p.m. with Pit Stop Practice ending the day at 3:10 p.m. Saturday, Sept 21 kicks off with Practice Three before NTT IndyCar Qualifying gets underway at 1:35 p.m. Race day is Sunday, Sept 22. The 90 lap, Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey goes green at noon local time and 3 p.m. ET. Watch the race live on NBC.

Ed Jones Gains Nine Positions in Push at Portland

Scuderia Corsa and driver Ed Jones completed the Grand Prix of Portland at the Portland International Raceway in the penultimate race of the 2019 NTT IndyCar season.

The No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet started the race from behind, but Jones made consistent progress over the course of the 105-lap race. In those laps Jones gained nine positions and steered clear of two major incidences that marred the opening laps of the Grand Prix. On lap one in Turn 1 multiple competitors were caught in a midfield pile up. Jones lucky swerved out of the way of spinning cars and continued.

Jones made the most of opportunities on the 12-turn, 1.964-mile road course. His ability to stay away from drama showcased his decision skills while his consistency highlighted his determined racecraft. Jones would bring the No. 20 safely home in the 14th position after starting 23rd.

For Jones Portland left him eager to end the season on a high note. “We did a good job avoiding the on-track incidents today to help us gain many positions over where we started,” Jones said. “We made good progress throughout the weekend, though we didn’t get the car quite to an optimal place for the race. I’m hoping to have a better outing at the season finale!”

For Team Owner Giacomo Mattioli today’s competition is preparation for the finale. “We certainly can use today as motivation,” Mattioli said. “We’ve had many high notes this year. We’ve showcased strength in both qualifying and races. Ed very much is capable of running out front. We now prepare for WeatherTech Raceway to add to our progress this season.”

The NTT IndyCar season comes to a close at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey takes place Sept. 20-22 with race day falling on Sunday, Sept. 22. The green flag is set to drop at 3:15 p.m. ET or 12:15 p.m. PT. The race broadcast will air live on NBC.

Scuderia Corsa Rejoins IndyCar at Portland

Scuderia Corsa and the NTT IndyCar Series take on Portland International Raceway Aug. 30 to Sept. 1 for the penultimate race of the 2019 season that has seen driver Ed Jones set significant milestones for the team.

Jones returns to the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet with a mission to finish his third IndyCar season strong. Thus far, Jones has earned Scuderia Corsa a Row Two start in the Indianapolis 500 along with two other Fast Six appearances and has showcased notable ability throughout the season. Complimenting IndyCar’s crescendo Jones best race performance came in May with a sixth-place finish at the IndyCar Grand Prix. He will aim to best those performances in the Grand Prix of Portland.

IndyCar first returned to the Portland 12-turn, 1.964-mile road course in 2018 after a decade long hiatus. The return was met with a tremendous fanfare as Portland International Raceway is best known for being the site of the all-time closest two-car and three-car finish in IndyCar.

Fans will gather to watch Jones speed down the fast front stretch and through the chicane as he tackles the tight turn complex followed by a sweeping backstretch. The road course provides plenty of possibilities to pass, making defensive driving as necessary as a forward-thinking mindset.

For Jones the Portland Grand Prix brings new opportunity to capitalize on his ability. “Looking forward to Portland because it was a track, I was quite quick at last year, Jones said. “Unfortunately, I got caught up in an incident on the first lap. Hopefully, we can have another good qualifying session and be able to race up toward the front. I’d like to go into the last month of the season trying to end things well.” The Portland Grand Prix weekend begins Friday, Aug. 30 with two practice sessions. Saturday, Aug. 31 Scuderia Corsa receives one final practice before qualifying. IndyCar qualifying starts with Round 1 at 6 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold. Race day is Sunday, Sept. 1 with the green flag set to drop at 3:30 p.m. on NBC.

Ed Jones starts Indy Toronto in Row Three after Valiant Qualifying

Scuderia Corsa and Ed Jones began the Indy Toronto race from the outside of Row Three in the No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa Chevrolet, the team’s top start on any street circuit and third appearance in the NTT IndyCar series Fast Six. Jones highlight to the weekend was not only his qualifying effort but his opening stint in the 85 laps street race. Jones took the No. 20 up to fifth almost as quickly as the green flag dropped. After a short yellow due to a multi-car pileup on Lap 1, Jones picked up right where he left off and took over fourth place. He accumulated third place before making his first pit stop. Jones spent his race fighting back to the front after making the switch from red Firestone tires to black and entering the competition in twelfth after his first pit stop. The race remained green until the last lap of the race when a competitor made contact with the wall. Jones completed the race in twelfth after making the Toronto Indy a two-pit stop race.

For Jones, Toronto was another learning experience for the team, and he hopes to take a few lessons forward with him. “We had a great first stint. The Ed Carpenter Racing Scuderia Corsa car was really fast. We were able to pass Newgarden and Rosenqvist in those first few laps and may have even had better pace than Rossi. It all started off really well, but as soon as we had to start saving fuel, we didn’t have the balance to keep pace. It cost us a lot and unfortunately, we fell down the order. We definitely found a few things this weekend that are going to help us everywhere. If we can keep building on that, we should be in good shape when I am back in the car in Mid-Ohio.”

For Team Owner Giacomo Mattioli Toronto showed great promise for the end of the season. “Ed did a great job in qualifying yesterday and he had a terrific first stint today, it is something we can build upon,” Mattioli said. “I feel like the partnership with Ed Carpenter Racing is only getting better as the season progresses. We are looking forward to the remaining of the season ahead.”

Scuderia Corsa and Ed Jones next travel to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the Indy 200 at MidOhio follows the NTT IndyCar series next race at Iowa Speedway. The race takes place July 28 at 4:30 p.m. ET and is broadcast on NBC.

 

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