Preview: Ed looking forward to Indy Lights at Long Beach

INDIANAPOLIS (USA) 15 APRIL 2015: Dubai born and bred Ed Jones is looking to have another Indy Lights victorious weekend when he gets back on track for the Long Beach Grand Prix, April 19, on the streets of downtown Long Beach, California

Driving the No. 11 Toys for Boys Miami/United River car on the 1.968-mile historic street circuit, the 20-year-old was unstoppable in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season-opener at St. Petersburg two weeks ago. Despite having never driven that circuit before and it also being his and his team, Carlin Racing’s debut in the series, Jones won pole for race one and two and then went on to dominate and win both races by a clear margin.

“I am really looking forward to the race at Long Beach this weekend,” said Jones who mad a brief visit to his home in Dubai after his opening round success. “Although it’s only been two weeks since the last race it already feels far too long to be out the car, especially after the success at St Pete. The team and myself have worked extremely hard to prepare for Long Beach and I am confident we can produce another great result.”

Jones made the switch to Indy Lights and the USA at the beginning of the year after becoming the youngest winner of the Euro F3 Open Championship in 2013. Last year, despite missing three races mid-season races due to back injury, he still earned two podium finishes in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship with Carlin.

The Long Beach Grand Prix weekend, at the legendary street circuit which in the past has hosted Formula 1, starts with Free Practice on Friday 17 April, with more practice and Qualifying the following day and the race on Sunday 19 April.

Ed makes it three-from-three with victory at Long Beach

LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA – 19 APRIL 2015: Ed Jones extended his Indy Lights championship lead by 26 points, when he won street circuit based Grand Prix of Long on Sunday.

Jones, who is from Dubai, qualified his No. 11 Toys for Boys Miami/United River car fourth yesterday on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn street circuit. When the green flag was shown for the 42-lap race, the Carlin driver took advantage of the accident ahead of him and sat in second when the yellow flag was shown.

Jones then had a fantastic restart to take the lead from Felix Serralles and was able to build a gap of just over a second before another yellow was shown. Jones was then forced to work hard to maintain his lead over Spencer Pigot but drove faultlessly to take his third Indy Lights victory in as many races.

“I knew it was going to be a bit hectic at the start because the temperatures were cold, the tires were cold,” said Jones. “I didn’t get the best start and dropped back to fifth. But then I saw the collision happening up front, so I braked a little bit earlier, took the inside and got around to the left. I got around Felix on the restart and we had a good battle for the next few laps.”

Then I had to deal with Spencer. You don’t want to make any mistakes, but you have to push really hard. It’s hard, because if you’re too conservative, you’ll get caught. It was difficult; I risked it a bit but fortunately, I didn’t make any mistakes and that’s what kept me the lead. We struggled with pace this weekend. We didn’t have the fastest car so to come away with the win is fantastic,” added Jones.

Jones, a multiple UAE karting champion, has had a sensational start to his Indy Lights debut. At the season-opener on the streets of St. Petersburg, three weeks ago where the 20 year old won both races from pole and broke the track record. With his win in Long Beach, he picked up another 31 points and now has a total of 95 points in the championship standings.

Rounds 4 and 5 of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires season will be at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama, April 24-26.

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