MRTI RACE REPORT: GRAND PRIX OF INDIANAPOLIS RACE 1
Just Nico Jamin claimed his first Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires win in Round 3 at Barber Motorsports Park in dominating fashion, the Frenchman rookie led all 30 laps of today’s Round 5 Grand Prix of Indianapolis after starting from pole in his No. 27 DuraMAX Powered by RelaDyne Mazda.
When the green flag dropped on the cool, sun-basked road course, Jamin and teammate Colton Herta, driving Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing’s No. 98 Deltro Energy Mazda, dove into Turn 1 with Herta jumping from his sixth-place starting position to second behind Jamin. As the two took off, Dalton Kellett, driver the No. 28 K-Line Insulators USA Mazda, radioed to his crew with sustained front wing damage after making contact with a competitor Lap 1. Pitting and making a quick wing change, Kellett returned to the 2.439-mile road course to stay on the lead lap.
Approaching halfway in the race, Herta dropped from second to fifth, reporting a right rear tire puncture. Opting to pit, the crew made quick work of changing the tire to send Herta back on track with 12 laps to go.
As the final laps came to a close, rookie Ryan Norman continued to quietly fight his way toward the front after starting 11th, crossing the finish line to claim his highest Indy Lights career finish in eighth. With Jamin crossing the finish line first, Herta was forced to settle for 12th after his mid-race stop, with Kellett behind him in 13th.
Today's win marks Jamin’s second of the season, his third win on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Grand Prix circuit and his 14th in Mazda Road to Indy competition.
Coverage of Round 5 and 6 events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway airs Sunday, May 21, at 2 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.
Nico Jamin – No. 27 DuraMAX Powered by RelaDyne Mazda
Started: 1 // Finished: 1
“This is just amazing. I am so happy to be back in victory lane at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I was actually here two years ago in USF2000 with the same car colors. I’m just so happy for the whole team, DuraMAX and RelaDyne on board for the whole month of May and in the first race we brought them into Victory Lane. It’s just so special for me and thank you to everyone.”
Ryan Norman – No. 48 Flip Side Mazda
Started: 11 // Finished: 8
“Overall the top eight is pretty good for where we started – I’ll take that. We had good pace during the race, so I think if we can qualify up front a little bit better, we will be able to stay there. Hopefully going into tomorrow we’ll push really hard and start further up in the field for Race 2.”
Colton Herta – No. 98 Deltro Energy Mazda
Started: 6 // Finished: 12
“It was a good race off the start, we made it from sixth to second in the first turn and then, unfortunately, we must have hit something and had a slow (tire) puncture that forced us to pit. Not the result we wanted, we were quick enough to win I think. We’ll be going for it tomorrow.”
Dalton Kellett – No. 28 K-Line Insulators USA Mazda
Started: 10 // Finished: 13
“I wouldn’t normally consider myself to be a negative person, but this was a very frustrating day. It all starts with qualifying, we need to get up near the front to avoid some of the incidents on the start. It’s really imperative to be up there, especially with how competitive it is here; you need every spot you can get. We’ll just have to put our heads down, forget about today and move on to tomorrow. Congrats to Nico on the win and great work to the team for that.”