After starting on pole, Sebastian Saavedra remained strong throughout the day to win the 40-lap Grand Prix of America at Barber Motorsports Park. It marks his fourth victory in the series, his first on the season.
“I think we did an incredible job,” Saavedra says. “The car was great in the beginning, we were able to manage a very good gap on Tristan (Vautier), and at some point we started saving tires. It didn’t work very well. I think when I needed the tires to help me out when Tristan was getting close to me, they were not there. Fortunately it was only five laps to go. They threw me a curveball over there with that restart but I think we kept a very cool head, very calm, and we did it perfectly.”
Last week’s race winner Trisan Vautier finished second to keep the points lead, eight points over Saavedra.
“I’m quite satisfied about the race,” he says. “Second is very good, of course, you love to win, but the Andretti guys were very strong in the open testing, we knew they were the ones to beat and we got very close at the end of the race. I tried at the start, when I saw Sebastian pulling away, to save my tires and try to do a move at the end and catch him at the end and it almost worked. Then we got the yellow flag, which cost us a few laps and it was quite close between us three on the restart, but then another yellow flag. So it was just you know, I have to thank the Sam Schmidt guys, it was a consistent car today.”
Vautier’s teammate Esteban Guerrieri rounded out the podium as he finished third. Gustavo Yacaman and Victor Carbone rounded out the top five.
The next Firestone Indy Lights race is the Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 15. The race will be televised by NBC Sports Network at 5 p.m. on April 19. NBC Sports Network covereage of the Grand Prix of Alabama will be televised at 5 p.m. on April 5.