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Romancini takes maiden Lights win at the Mile

Mario Romancini earned his first career Firestone Indy Lights victory with a flag-to-flag win in the Husar's House of Fine Diamonds 100 at the Milwaukee Mile on Sunday.

The Brazilian, who has shown increasingly impressive form in his debut season, particularly on the unfamiliar ovals, beat series leader JR Hildebrand to the chequered flag by 1.0907secs to better his previous best finish of third - from the oval events at both Kansas and Indianapolis.

Romancini led all 100 laps, his first laps led in the series, to become only the second polesitter to win at Milwaukee after 2007 series champion Alex Lloyd won in his title year. The World Series by Renault refugee also gave RLR/Andersen Racing only its second win in Indy Lights, the first coming, ironically, from Hildebrand at Kansas last season.

"I'm so happy to be here, and I just have to thank RLR/Andersen Racing," Romancini bubbled following his trip to Victory lane, "They've done a fantastic job since we've been here - this win means a lot to me and a lot to the guys. It's just my third oval race, and I'm so very, very happy to be this competitive. Now we have two weeks to work and think about the next one in Iowa."

There was a late scare for Romancini when Daniel Herrington brought out a late caution by collecting the inside wall at pit-lane entrance, but the Brazilian was able to keep Hildebrand at bay on the restsrt with nine laps remaining and gradually increased his cushion over the AFS/AGR driver to the flag.

"I was a bit concerned because every time I started to pull away, the yellow came out," he reflected, "We knew we had a good car so, with ten laps to go, all I had to do was manage the gap."

Hildebrand duly finished second for his fourth podium result of the season, and remains the points leader with a ten-point advantage over AFS/AGR team-mate Sebastian Saavedra, who completed the podium.

"[Romancini] had a really good car, and he was doing a really good job with it," Hildebrand admitted, "Having to run behind him the whole race, I started picking up understeer and wearing out the front tyres, and I just didn't have anything for him at the end.

"With the lapped car on that restart, I didn't really have a chance to try to jump him then, so there wasn't much I could do there towards the end. But it was a great finish for the team, and I have to thank the boys. They've done a great job all weekend."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mario Romancini - RLR/Andersen Racing   [pic credit: IRL/McQueeney]
Alexander Rossi - Andretti Autosport   [pic credit: Indycar Media/Joe Skibinski]
Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske) celebrates winning the 2016 IndyCar title with victory at Sonoma   [pic credit: Chris Owens]
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
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Kyle Kaiser (Juncos Racing) celebrates at Laguna Seca
Kyle Kaiser - Juncos Racing
Ed Carpenter Racing crew working on the boss` car   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Indy Lights action
Indy Lights title contender Santiago Urrutia, Ed Jones, Dean Stoneman, Felix Serralles, Kyle Kaiser and Zach Veach   [pic credit: IndyCar Media]
Santiago Urrutia - Schmidt Petersen Motorsport
Will Power - Team Penske
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to victory at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to pole at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Graham Rahal celebrates victory in the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway   (image credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens)
Scott Dixon leads the Indycar field   [pic credit: Indycar media/Bret Kelley]
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Jones]
Will Power - Team Penske   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Jones]

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