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Herta loses his Indy Lights championship lead after wins by O’Ward and Urrutia

Indy Lights, Toronto Honda Indy, Exhibition Place, Toronto

Exhibition Place, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, July 15/18 (Howard Cohen/PRN): The road to Indy takes several routes including Indy Lights. While not the only way drivers audition of Indy car rides, it is the most important route to the big show. This year, three drivers have moved up to the IndyCar series from Lights – Mateus Leist, Zachary Claman de Melo and Kyle Kaiser. The majority of the current IndyCar drivers have Lights (or CART Atlantic) in their resumes. 

At the Toronto Honda Indy, the lead in Indy Lights got tighter as the Saturday race was won by Patricio O’Ward of Andretti Autosport and the Sunday race by Santiago Urrutia, Belardi Auto Racing, both competing for the Cooper Tires $1 million scholarship to the Verizon IndyCar Series.
This race weekend took place on a temporary street circuit, laid out on the grounds of Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto. Accessible by various forms of transit, the event drew a large crowd who saw an excellent series of races within the Mazda Road to Indy, encompassing Indy Lights, the Pro Mazda Championship and the USF2000 Championship.
With his win in the Saturday Indy Lights race, O’Ward put himself into the series points lead with Urrutia in second. Colton Herta, in his Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing car, who was leading the points heading into Toronto, had set the fastest qualifying lap to add a point to his record but had a setback when his car went off track and into the tire barrier, leaving him with a fractured thumb.
This all set up an exciting run for the second race on Sunday. Herta started from pit lane due to his thumb injury and then pulled out of the race after only a few laps. After several close laps, and several fastest laps by the top three, Urrutia won the Sunday race with O’Ward taking second place and Aaron Telitz in third. This weekend’s results now find O’Ward with an 18 point lead over Herta and Urrutia only 22 points back. With only a few races remaining, the battle for the million dollar scholarship (three IndyCar races) is getting tighter as O’Ward, Herta and Urrutia are all within striking range of the championship.
Despite the small field, we are looking at the future of the IndyCar series here – and, if rides are available, we can expect two or more of these fledgling drivers to move up next year.

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