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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]
Mike onway and team owner/driver Ed Carpenter at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay on the pit wall at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Busy pit lane at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais at Mid-Ohio (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais with his son after winning Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
The red flag is waived halting attempts to start Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto on Saturday. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway and Team Owner Ed Carpenter celebrate victory in Race 2 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais gets a congratulatory hug from team co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven after winning Race 1 of the Honda Indy Toronto (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Chevrolet sweeps the podium with winner Mike Conway (center), driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrating his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. Tony Kanaan (left), driver of the #10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet celebrates his second-place finish. Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet celebrates his third-place finish. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag while racing to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy`s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, July 20, 2014 during the second of two IndyCar Series races through the streets of Exhibition Place, in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway on his way to victory in the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway jumps for joy after the second round of the Honda Indy Toronto doubleheader on Sunday July 20 2014. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

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