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Chilton and Jones clinch surprise Iowa 1-2 for Carlin

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
Photo: Andersen Promotions

Photo: Andersen Promotions

The third oval round of the 2015 Indy Lights season has seen a third different team take pole as Carlin Racing’s Max Chilton and Ed Jones locked out the front row at Iowa.

The result came as a surprise as both Chilton and Jones trailed Schmidt Peterson’s four cars in practice, with team boss Trevor Carlin stating after qualifying: “The ovals are difficult for us, we still don’t quite understand them, so what the boys have done is amazing.”

Indeed, after the four SPM drivers logged their laps, it seemed the team would lock out the first spots, with points leader Jack Harvey heading his three teammates.

But it was not to be – first Jones stunned the field with two session-best laps and then Chilton further upped the pace, recording his maiden pole in the series – and his first since his 2012 GP2 campaign, also with Carlin.

Harvey settled for third, very narrowly ahead of Ethan Ringel, while Scott Anderson and RC Enerson make up row three.

Juncos Racing’s Kyle Kaiser was best of the rest in seventh, with his title contender teammate Spencer Pigot in ninth as the duo were split by Juan Piedrahita.

Felix Serralles, winner last time out at Milwaukee, was just tenth, while the Andretti – Shelby Blackstock combination continued to struggle on ovals, leaving the driver well off the pace in 11th.

Qualifying results
Pos. Driver Team Lap 1 Lap 2 Time Gap
1 Max Chilton Carlin 19.831 19.831 39.662
2 Ed Jones Carlin 19.852 19.870 39.722 0.060
3 Jack Harvey Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 19.872 19.888 39.760 0.098
4 Ethan Ringel Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 19.883 19.880 39.763 0.101
5 Scott Anderson Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 19.956 19.972 39.928 0.266
6 RC Enerson Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 19.994 19.988 39.981 0.319
7 Kyle Kaiser Juncos Racing 20.056 20.047 40.103 0.442
8 Juan Piedrahita Belardi Auto Racing 20.304 20.259 40.564 0.902
9 Spencer Pigot Juncos Racing 20.284 20.335 40.619 0.957
10 Felix Serralles Belardi Auto Racing 20.580 20.574 41.154 1.493
11 Shelby Blackstock Andretti Autosport 20.725 20.634 41.359 1.697