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Jones and Chilton lock out front row for Carlin’s Lights debut

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
Photo: Andersen Promotions

Photo: Andersen Promotions

Emirati driver Ed Jones narrowly beat Brit Max Chilton to pole position for the first race of the 2015 Indy Lights season at St. Pete.

The Carlin duo dominated the second half of the qualifying session, pulling clear of the field as they changed places in first and second lap after lap.

Chilton dethroned Jones with two minutes to go, only to have the Emirati take the spot back a few seconds later. The very same pattern repeated at the checkered flag, as Jones snatched pole from the ex-F1 driver by 0.09s.

SPM’s Jack Harvey was the best of the rest, lingering in sixth at the halfway point but improving dramatically on newer tyres to take third.

Scott Hargrove demoted his former Pro Mazda title rival Spencer Pigot to fifth, with Kyle Kaiser locking out row three for Juncos.

Felix Serralles took seventh for his Lights debut, ahead of top Andretti driver Matthew Brabham, rookie RC Enerson and sophomore Scott Anderson.

The only stoppage in the session was caused by Shelby Blackstock after just two minutes as the American backed his IL-15 into the wall.

Race results
Pos. Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Ed Jones Carlin 1:05.319 17
2 Max Chilton Carlin 1:05.405 0.086 17
3 Jack Harvey Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 1:05.862 0.543 19
4 Scott Hargrove 8 Star Motorsports 1:05.922 0.603 18
5 Spencer Pigot Juncos Racing 1:06.128 0.809 18
6 Kyle Kaiser Juncos Racing 1:06.341 1.022 17
7 Felix Serralles Belardi Auto Racing 1:06.364 1.044 20
8 Matthew Brabham Andretti Autosport 1:06.678 1.359 19
9 RC Enerson Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 1:06.720 1.401 19
10 Scott Anderson Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 1:07.063 1.744 19
11 Juan Piedrahita Belardi Auto Racing 1:07.078 1.759 20
12 Shelby Blackstock Andretti Autosport 1:07.579 2.260 12
13 Ethan Ringel Schmidt Peterson Motorsports 1:07.758 2.439 17