DUBAI // On the sun-kissed streets of St Petersburg in Florida, Dubai-born Ed Jones enjoyed the perfect start to his Indy Lights career this weekend to win both races at the season-opening Mazda Grand Prix.
Jones, 20, swapped the Middle East for Miami in January ahead of his debut season with Carlin Racing and completed a clean sweep from pole position after shattering the lap record in Friday’s qualifying session.
In Saturday’s first race, Jones beat English compatriot Jack Harvey to the flag by 3.7 seconds over 30 laps before coasting to victory at Sunday’s 45-lap contest to win with a nine-second advantage.
“The car was great throughout the race,” Jones said. “It was the longest race I’ve ever done, but it felt quicker than [Saturday’s] race somehow. I just had to focus, keep pushing and not make any mistakes. I got in the zone.
“What won the race for us was consistency; making sure I took care of the tyres. But it’s all come down to the hard work and dedication the team and I have done throughout the past few months.”
Max Chilton, teammate of Jones at Carlin, suffered a collision in the opening race to finish 12th and narrowly missed out on a podium in race two. The former Formula One driver found himself embroiled in a battle for third with Spencer Pigot, but could not work his way past the Californian on the narrow street circuit.
Jones is already looking forward to the next race on April 19, tweeting “What a weekend, double pole and double win!! Long beach next!”
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