STREETS OF LONG BEACH, CA
April 15, 2012 on NBC
Guerrieri tops Firestone Indy Lights field in Long Beach
grabs victory on Long Beach circuit
BEACH, Calif. –
has recorded podium finishes in all three Firestone Indy
Lights races this season. This week, in the Grand Prix
of Long Beach, he stood on the top step for the first
overtook Sunoco Pole Award winner Sebastian Saavedra in
Turn 1 of Lap 1 on the 1.968-mile, 11-turn street circuit
and went on to the victory by 1.5989 seconds. It was the
fourth career victory (11th top-five finish in 17 races)
for the 27-year-old Argentinian.
up two bonus points for leading the most laps, Guerrieri
heads to the Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
two points behind Saavedra (129) in the championship standings.
Tristan Vautier, the points leader entering the race,
was credited with third place and has 128 points.
definitely feels good after last year when I started on
pole and then couldn't manage a very good pace in the
race," said Guerrieri, who first, second and third
in the three races this season. "But we got experience
from last year. We understood how the tires would work,
and we just went for a low downforce setup to try to gain
the position in the start from Sebastian."
joined the duo in Victory Circle because of a 30-second
penalty assessed the No. 2 TMR-Tuvacol-Xtreme Coil Drilling
car driven by Gustavo Yacaman for ignoring the instructions
of Race Control. The car lost one of its mirrors with
about 15 laps left in the 45-lap race, and the driver
was called to pit lane to replace it (a rule). However,
the team didn't have a replacement mirror and he continued.
Vautier was 0.8765 of a second behind Yacaman, who had
advanced two positions relative to his starting spot,
at the start/finish line. Yacaman was credited with 10th
moved Victor Carbone, who started sixth and set the fastest
lap of the race (1 minute, 14.6652 seconds on Lap 37)
in the No. 3 Mav TV/Nevoni/Sam Schmidt Motorsports car,
to fourth. Carlos Munoz recorded his initial top-five
finish in the No. 26 Team Dialy-Ser car for Andretti Autosport.
the lone full-course caution for the No. 8 Brooks Associate
Racing car of Alex Jones into the tires, Guerrieri got
a good jump on Saavedra on the Lap 24 restart to maintain
the point. Saavedra closed the gap to 0.6273 of a second
four laps later and was 0.8275 of a second back with 10
pushed the advantage to 1.3946 seconds with five laps
remaining and was further challenged by Saavedra in the
No. 27 Team AFS car.
didn’t have anything to make the pass," Saavedra
said. "I was just pushing to the limits to induce
his mistake. Right now, we are tight for the lead in points.
It’s a great situation for us. We didn’t get
first place, but we keep it where we are right now. We
are looking very good for the start of the ovals."
IZOD IndyCar Series
credit: Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach
to our coverage of the 2012 Toyota Grand Prix of Long
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