TORONTO, Saturday, July 7, 2012 – Victor Carbone has been a poster boy for consistency in 2012 Firestone Indy Lights racing, and his performance in Saturday’s Toronto 100 was another example of his steady actions in the cockpit.
Driving his No. 3 Mav TV/Nevoni/SSM car, Carbone started at the front of the field for the 50-lap race after winning the pole during a wet qualifying session earlier in the day. The young Brazilian made it through a chaotic start that saw two of his SSM teammates make contact just in front of him in a Turn 1 incident.
His heads-up actions kept him in the lead, which he held until Lap 13 when eventual winner, Gustavo Yacaman, passed him in Turn 3. One lap later, Sebastian Saavedra passed Carbone for second place. A high downforce package allowed Yacaman and Saavedra to pull away from Carbone.
He wouldn’t fall any farther as he cruised to his second third-place finish in consecutive races. The finish also continued his streak of top-six finishes. Carbone now has six top-five finishes and one sixth-place finish. He also has finished every race on the lead lap this season.
Oliver Webb, driving the No. 77 Lucas Oil/SSM car, also ran a steady race by starting and finishing fifth. He challenged Peter Dempsey several times over the last 20 laps, but could not make the pass.
Driving his No. 11 Pistas Argentinas/SSM with Curb-Agajanian car, Esteban Guerrieri salvaged a disastrous day by finishing sixth after being involved in the Turn 1 incident with teammate Tristan Vautier. Though he had to pit twice to make repairs, the Argentine attacked the Toronto circuit to regain positions.
Vautier, unfortunately, was knocked out of the race as a result of the damage suffered by the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/SSM with Curb-Agajanian car.
Yacaman’s win was his second this season and the third in his Indy Lights career. It was also the eighth win for Team Moore Racing.
Saavedra chased Yacaman to the finish for second place. It was the Andretti Autosport driver’s fifth podium finish this season. Carbone, Belardi Racing’s Peter Dempsey and Webb rounded out the top five.
Despite his crazy day, Guerrieri maintains his Indy Lights points lead over Vautier, 316-295. Saavedra maintains third with 284 points. Yacaman takes control of fourth with 269 points, while Carbone is fifth with 253.
The next Firestone Indy Lights event is a 40-lap race on July 21, part of the Edmonton Indy weekend.
DATE: July 7, 2012
EVENT: Toronto 100
SERIES: Firestone Indy Lights Series
LOCATION: Toronto, Ontario
WINNER: Gustavo Yacaman of Team Moore Racing
SSM DRIVERS: Victor Carbone (Started 3rd, Finished 3rd/ Running, completed 50 of 50 laps)
Oliver Webb (Started 5th, Finished 5th/Running, completed 50 of 50 laps)
Esteban Guerrieri (Started 2nd, Finished 6th/Running, completed 50 of 50 laps)
Tristan Vautier (Started 4th, Finished 11th/Running, completed 0 of 50 laps)
Victor Carbone (Finished 3rd), Driver of the No. 3 Mav TV/Nevoni/SSM with Curb -Agajanian Dallara:
“It was hard work. I didn’t have a good start. Esteban got in front of me, but then he got together with Tristan, and I just tried to keep my nose clean to be honest. And then those two guys [Saavedra and Yacaman] just had less downforce. They were able to run at more top speed than me. So it’s another third place, and I’m happy. But we need to improve from here on, so we’ll see.”
Oliver Webb (Finished 5th), Driver of the No. 7 Lucas Oil/SSM Dallara:
“I had a really good start and picked up two positions, then Tristan (Vautier) spun and that caused (Gustavo) Yacaman to slam on the brakes. I went straight into the back of him and propelled him forward and I stayed where I was and four cars got past. I was able to pass one more or two more and just stayed there for the rest of the race because I had a broken front wing. Fifth is average, really. We’ll try next time for a win.”
Esteban Guerrieri (Finished 6th), Driver of the No. 11 Pistas Argentinas/SSM with Curb-Agajanian Dallara:
“We had a very slow start. In the first corner I got hit from the back and Tristan was on my outside. Tristan and I made contact and unfortunately Tristan went into the wall. It was a crazy start. I ended up breaking my front wing on the front left tire though. Our strategy was good after the incident because we stopped once during the caution to change the tire and went back out to avoid going one lap down. We then came back in a second time still under caution to change the front wing.”
Tristan Vautier (Finished 11th), Driver of the No. 77 Mazda Road to Indy/SSM with Curb-Agajanian Dallara:
“It’s a big shame. I had a very good run at the start. I was next to Esteban and it’s hard to tell how much room he had, so I decided to go very wide. Through the corner, my ends were straight and he clipped me. I want to watch the video again. We’re racing for a championship. For sure, we were all running very hard. I feel like I gave him enough room. It’s too bad. We had a fast car. We were the fastest on the dry yesterday. We were P1 when this happened. I realized the car was broken in Turn 1, but I didn’t know how damaged it was. So, I kept driving it. It’s a shame and so disappointing. But it’s racing and just a part of it. The championship is still very long.”