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Saavedra wins Toronto Indy Lights

Sebastian Saavedra rebounded from the disappointment of being penalised for blocking in last week's Watkins Glen Indy Lights race to claim victory on the streets of Toronto.

The Colombian passed AFS/AGR team-mate JR Hildebrand on lap 18 of 50, and went on to record a 5.8630secs victory over the championship leader in a caution-free race, while hometown favourite James Hinchcliffe finished third - for the fourth time this season - after starting alongside Saavedra on the front row. Stefan Wilson finished a season-high fourth in the #19 Walker Racing car.

Saavedra led away from pole position but, with the race starting in wet - but drying - conditions, relinquished top spot during the scramble to fit slicks. Richard Philippe briefly took charge as he delayed his stop a lap longer than the AFS/AGR driver, but it was Hildebrand, up from sixth on the grid despite pitting at the same time as Saavedra, who assumed control as things settled down.

Knowing that he needed to act before his team-mate got into a rhythm, the Colombian pounced nine laps later, resecuring the lead and gradually taking control of the event thereafter to add street course victory to his earlier success on the oval at Kansas.

"It wasn't easy, I'm telling you," Saavedra insisted, "This is one of the hardest tracks I've been to - in wet conditions and dry conditions. We also made a pit-stop, things we're not use to, but the #27 crew did an awesome job. I'm very happy for AFS/Andretti Green Racing. Points are points, but we're thinking about the championship and that's what is important."

The victory was AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing's fourth of the season, with Hildebrand completing a 1-2 after claiming his sixth podium finish in nine starts in 2009, but the American revealed that he had been battling a familiar street circuit problem from the early laps.

"We definitely salvaged a good finish out of that, and I really owe it to the boys in the pits," the points leader admitted, "They really did an awesome job with the pit-stop, but I had hit the wall early and bent the rear suspension pretty badly - like five or six laps into the race - so I was just hanging on for most of the race.

"I thought maybe I could stick with Sebastian because I was sort of keeping up with him for most of the middle segment, but the thing just started going haywire on me through the fast stuff. So, after I almost wrecked the car a couple of times. I just backed off and thought we'd get it to the finish. It was good for the boys, and we'll see what we've got in a couple of weeks in Edmonton."

Hinchcliffe tied his season-best in third place after his Sam Schmidt Motorsport team had been out-fumbled by the AFS/AGR at the pit-stops.




Related Pictures

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Sebastian Saavedra celebrates Indy Lights victory in Toronto   [pic credit: IRL/Haines]
Scott Dixon sprays the champagne in Victory Circle following his win in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon is congratulated by Dario Franchitti after winning the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon with a victory kiss from his wife, Emma, following clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates his victory in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon wins the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship, his fourth series championship of his career. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, August 30, 2015, winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Chevrolet also wins its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Ernie Masche/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon (left), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 30, 2015, after winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Joining him on the podium is Charlie Kimball, driver of the #83 Novolog Flexpen Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 who finished third. Chevrolet won its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag Sunday, August 30, 2015, winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Chevrolet also wins its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Perry Nelson/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, August 30, 2015, winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Chevrolet also wins its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon - 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series champion - Target Chip Ganassi Racing (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates after winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates after winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates after winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates with team mates after winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates with Chip Ganassi after winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates after winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates with Chip Ganassi after winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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