Juncos Racing driver Kyle Kaiser started third and finished first in the 45-lap second race of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires weekend on the streets of Toronto.
Kaiser took the checkered flag 5.9 seconds ahead of Belardi Auto Racing’s Aaron Telitz to win his second consecutive race.
“I knew this would be a good weekend for us because the team has always had a good setup here — Spencer won both races two years ago,” Kaiser said after his victory. “But it’s really been a dream weekend — I’ve never had a double win weekend before.
“Actually, I can’t believe it. My goal in the race, with two really good, really aggressive drivers ahead of us, was just to keep it clean and finish the race. Going into Turn 1, I made a good start and when I realized we were three-wide, I hugged the inside as tight as I could.
“I know it sounds weird, but I was okay with the points for second. But I saw Colton getting close to the wall a couple times and I thought if he made a mistake, I would be ready. I’m usually on the bad end of luck but this year I was rewarded.”
Reigning Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires champion Telitz took advantage of misfortune for those who started ahead of him to advance five positions from where he started.
“I’ve been driving my butt off since St. Pete, where we had that awesome opener,” Telitz said. “We have been in a bit of a slump lately, pace-wise, so to come off the truck here fast and to finish on the podium today is great.
“I had a fast car, made good passes and stayed out of the crashes — people were all over the place. I battled hard with Zach and Santi. Guys were racing as clean as they could but it’s a tight street course — a bit too tight for some of the moves guys were making.”
Zachary Claman De Melo, driving the No. 13 Mazda for Carlin, gave Canadian fans one of their own on the podium with a third-place finish 2.5 seconds behind Telitz.
“It’s great to get two podiums here in Toronto,” said Claman De Melo. “I’ve raced karts here since I was 8 years old and it’s like my second home. I’ve hit my rhythm, so things are starting to really come together for us now.”
Team Pelfrey’s Juan Piedrahita made up four positions over the 56-minute race to finish in fourth while championship contender Matheus Leist picked up six positions en route to a finish of fifth.
Ryan Norman, Nicolas Dapero, Garth Rickards and Dalton Kellett complete the top nine with only nine cars running at the checkers.
Setbacks for Contenders Shuffles Order
Nico Jamin, Shelby Blackstock and Neil Alberico were credited with completing one lap and listed as having retired due to contact on the official results for Race 2.
Going through Turn 1, Kaiser, Urrutia and Jamin went three wide with Jamin on the outside. The Andretti Autosport driver clipped the outside wall and slowed down. Blackstock could not reduce his speed enough and went up and over Jamin’s car.
The incident brought out three laps of caution leading to a restart that saw pole sitter Colton Herta retain the lead.
The race’s second caution came out on Lap 12 when Urrutia stopped his Belardi machine on the frontstretch with a mechanical issue, taking another top-five contender out of the race.
Herta remained out front through the second restart and despite leading Kaiser by nearly two seconds, suspension damage to the No. 98 Andretti Steinbrenner machine led to Herta’s retirement after completing 25 laps.
Next up for the Indy Lights is a doubleheader weekend in conjunction with the Verizon IndyCar Series’ Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on the weekend of July 28–30.