TORONTO, Ontario — The streets of Exhibition Place in Toronto always produce excitement for the Mazda Road to Indy, and this year’s edition was no different.
Kyle Kirkwood is the king of Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda competition – that is all. Consistency like this will lead him to the title and moving up to the next step in the ladder next season. The only question is how many more wins will he have before the season is done? He’ll be certainly trying to win all of the events to finish off the year, but you can bet his competition is hungry. Dakota Dickerson expressed a desire on Saturday while on the podium, and Igor Fraga gave him a good fight on Sunday. It may not be a simple drive to complete the season.
The wreck at the beginning of the first Pro Mazda Presented by Cooper Tires event surprised everyone as you’d expect the first day to be clean while the second is a mess. But alas, we found out after the fact that Harrison Scott did not have brakes, hence his flight. It doesn’t excuse the lack of patience that resulted in three-wide racing right from the bat, or Antonio Serravalle and Raul Guzman’s incident in turn one. These are a bunch of young hungry drivers who are learning steps for the days ahead, and that includes patience.
But in the midst of the chaos, Rinus Veekay was flawless both days en route to a pair of checkereds, and combined with Parker Thompson’s struggles and we have a battle for the championship now. Only seven points separate the pair, and that could swing either way in the next couple of weeks.
If you’re looking at overall excitement, the twists and turns of the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires get the highest award. A little bit of rain in the late stages of Saturday’s race made for slippery conditions, making for some interesting moments. Santiago Urrutia fell back early, made his way to the front, spun, but yet still managed to snag a second through it all. Aaron Telitz should’ve had two podiums this weekend, but the rain saw him go around and cost him valuable position as he fell back to fourth.
The real loser of the weekend is Colton Herta, who lost a ton of points from the beginning to the end. He wrecked during Saturday’s race, followed by wrecking in qualifying for Sunday. The second incident resulted in a thumb injury, seeing him only run three laps due to the pain. Meanwhile, Patricio O’Ward’s victory on Saturday, followed by a consistent runner-up on Sunday give him an 18-point advantage. Herta is going to have to make some magic happen moving forward now.
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