USF2000 returnee Nico Christodoulou claimed his first series win in a wet second race of the weekend in Toronto.
The Velocity Racing Development driver raced part-time in USF2000 back in 2020, and this year his primary programme is GB3 with Arden VRD. He returned to the IndyCar support bill this weekend to race on his home track.
Christodoulou started fifth, but that became fourth when team-mate Nikita Johnson spun and could not get going again while the field was led around the first lap by the safety car.
Racing got underway on lap four on a wet track, and front-row man Evagoras Papasavvas crashed at turn one. Chase Gardner did the same, then two drivers spun at turn three.
Poleman Simon Sikes finished the lap in the lead, ahead of Christodoulou, Jacob Douglas, Mac Clark and Lochie Hughes.
On lap six Douglas dropped down the order and Sam Corry behind had an off, promoting Max Garcia – from 18th and last on the grid – into fifth place and Elliot Cox into sixth.
Sikes’ lead grew to 1.89 seconds, but Christodoulou reeled him back in and by lap 14 was less than half a second behind.
On lap 16 of 20 there was a change of position as Sikes, on a drying track, went too deep at turn three and lost the lead to Christodoulou. Mac Clark was just behind watching closely, and Garcia was chasing in fourth after he passed Hughes down the inside of turn three on lap nine.
Christodoulou immediately built a gap of 1.49s up front, but that was nullified on lap 17 as the pace car was called out due to the lapped Gardner crashing after the final corner.
His car was removed in time for a final lap restart, and Christodoulou dashed away to win. Sikes and Clark went side-by-side from the pit straight all the way to turn three where Sikes used the inside line to secure second place.
Garcia tried sneaking down the inside of Clark at the corner but contact spun Clark around in front of him. Hughes managed to get past them on the outside but Cox was left with nowhere to turn and had to go down the escape road.
Clark, Garcia and Cox dropped to 13th, 14th and 15th, while Douglas moved back up to fifth and Papasavvas’s recovery resulted in seventh place.
Race result (20 laps)
|2||Simon Sikes||Pabst Racing||+1.5161s|
|4||Jorge Garciarce||DEForce Racing||+3.9764s|
|5||Jacob Douglas||Pabst Racing||+4.7726s|
|8||Avery Towns||Exclusive Autosport||+7.0079s|
|10||Maxwell Jamieson||DEForce Racing||+|
|12||Joey Brienza||Exclusive Autosport||+11.5445s|
|13||Mac Clark||DEForce Racing||+14.9777s|
|14||Max Garcia||Pabst Racing||+19.2087s|
|16||Gordon Scully||VRD||+1 lap|
|Ret||Chase Gardner||Exclusive Autosport|
|Fastest lap: Christodoulou, 1m21.4646s