Home Featured Collet’s “pretty crazy” fortnight featuring first Indy Nxt win and FE debut

Collet’s “pretty crazy” fortnight featuring first Indy Nxt win and FE debut

by Ida Wood

Photo: Chris Owens

Caio Collet said it felt “pretty amazing” to claim his first Indy Nxt win at Mid-Ohio, a week after making his Formula E debut.

Nissan reserve driver Collet got the call-up to substitute for the ill Oliver Rowland at the Portland E-Prix, and qualified 14th for his maiden FE race. He finished it in 18th, and the next day started 22nd and finished 16th in the event’s second race.

Collet was runner-up in both Indy Nxt races at Laguna Seca the week before, and this weekend continued his podium streak with victory after topping both practice sessions and taking his first pole.

“It feels pretty amazing. Since Friday, we’ve been really quick. Since my first lap, the car felt really, really good and I knew that we had a chance to do a good weekend,” the HMD Motorsports driver said to media including Formula Scout.

“Previous weekends we started a little bit behind, especially comparing to [title rivals Jacob Abel and Louis Foster], and we were just playing catch-up, and I think it was the [first time] of the season that we started on top on Friday.”

A maiden win was Collet’s target for the season’s second half, and at Mid-Ohio “for sure there was pressure [to win] because I know that the next five events, four of them are ovals and I don’t know how it will be”.

Collet is an American racing newcomer, and being straight on the pace in practice was key to victory as he returned to Indy Nxt’s car from FE.

“It was pretty crazy, to be honest. I was really exhausted when I arrived here on Thursday. I’m just really, really happy that I could manage to put everything together,” he said.

“My first FE weekend was really nice to get the opportunity and drive against [top drivers] in a competitive series as FE is. And then coming back here, for sure, it’s a different series, different everything and we adapted straight away quite well and I’m really happy that the opportunities are coming together in my career.”

Collet led Indy Nxt’s second race on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course in May, but fell to third in the race’s final third. Lessons learned then put him in a better position to win at Mid-Ohio.

“[At IMS] I started really, really strong and then middle, end of the race, I was struggling quite a lot. Here I think I started not very strong comparing to what I had in free practice and qualifying. I was really struggling the first five, six laps [of racing], and after the first couple of laps on the restart I was trying to use the button and get away.

“Certainly I think when my tyres heated up a bit more and the track evolved a bit, it just clicked and I started having a lot of grip and momentum and I just kept building. I was getting better lap after lap, which was a little bit strange in the race.”