Santi Urrutia survived an eventful morning in St Petersburg to claim the win in the second of this weekend’s Indy Lights races
The Belardi driver crossed the finish line a massive 11.7s clear of Pelfrey’s Shelby Blackstock, but despite his victory margin, the Uruguayan owed much of his success to drama elsewhere in the field.
Early on, all signs had been that the fight for the win would be between Andretti pairing Pato O’Ward and Colton Herta. The latter gained the lead with a pass on the first lap, lost it again shortly after a restart, and maintained a spirited pursuit of his teammate until overcooking it on the way into Turn 8 and slamming the outside wall.
That left O’Ward alone at the front of the field, and the Mexican had opened up a 7.0s advantage before making a mistake of his own in Turn 4 with just a handful of laps to go. He managed to keep his car off the barriers, but by the time he was able to get moving again, he’d been passed by six of his rivals.
Meanwhile, Belardi’s Aaron Telitz’s chaotic weekend came to an end after just two corners. Yesterday he claimed pole for the opening race and then crashed in second qualifying, damaging the car so badly that he was forced to miss Saturday’s race altogether.
The team borrowed a spare car from Carlin and spent the night building it up, and then watched aghast as Telitz was tipped into the wall by Victor Franzoni on the opening lap this morning.
“Really disappointing to see after how hard these guys worked,” said team owner Brian Belardi. “I’m not happy. I can’t say what I’m thinking.”
Ryan Norman claimed the final podium spot at the expense of Neil Alberico, who’d appeared destined to complete a Pelfrey two-three before a late bump from Norman’s Andretti car left him with a cut tire that dropped him back to fifth on the final lap.