Crash.Net IndyCar News
IL: Davison repeats at Mid-Ohio
10 August 2009
James Davison led all 40 laps to win the Mid-Ohio 100 Firestone Indy Lights race for the second consecutive year, but the result was more significant for Vision Racing, which took its first success in the series five weeks after Davison gave the team its first pole, at Watkins Glen.
A year ago, the Australian benefitted from a bizarre error from Kiwi rival Jonny Reid, who pitted behind the safety car believing the race to have been ended by torrential rain, but this time there was no doubt that he was the deserving winner, coming home four seconds clear of James Hinchcliffe, with points leader Jr Hildebrand third.
"It was awesome," Davison enthused, "We didn't really have any pressure from behind, the whole team effort was awesome, and I'm really happy.
"The tyres started to wear off, losing front grip and rear grip, but it's the same for everybody. We were able to pull away from the next car behind us, so I gather we were the quickest car on the track."
Hinchcliffe's second place was a career best in Firestone Indy Lights for the Canadian, who lamented the missed opportunity to start from top spot on the grid.
"I really thought we got beat yesterday with the way those yellows fell in qualifying, giving James the pole," he claimed, "I really think we had a shot at it, and it's just so tough to pass here.
"I think we took a couple of laps longer to get up to speed but, once we did, for the first half of race we were right on his gearbox. I was kind of hoping he'd get into a mistake, but I must have used up too much of my tyres running around in the dirty air there, so we sort of lost pace there at the end.
"I was doing 14.7 after 14.7 after 14.7, but there was nothing I could do to make it go any quicker. Still, it was a great day, as we finally broke the third place streak we had going and make it one step higher. Now we've got one to go. Three races to do it; one more step to go."
Hildebrand's eighth podium of the year ensured that he restored some of the points advantage eroded by retirement in Edmonton last time out, with main rivals Sebastian Saavedra, Wade Cunningham and Mario Romancini all finishing well down the order.
"It was a tough race as it was hot out here," Hildebrand reported, "The car was understeering quite a bit, so we trimmed out a little bit to see if we could get by these guys, but couldn't make it happen on the starts or restarts, so that made my day a little tougher down the road. We're going to a couple of tracks I know we'll be strong at in the next couple of races though, so I'm looking forward to moving along."
Felipe Guimaraes returned to the series for a second race in 2009 and, while unable to repeat the podium he took at Watkins Glen, finished fourth in the second Bryan Herta Autosport entry, one place ahead of a series-best from Martin Plowman in fifth. Daniel Herrington, Andrew Prendeville, Stefan Wilson, Richard Philippe and Gustavo Yacaman rounded out the top ten.