Infiniti Pro Series points leader Mark Taylor remains perfect this season, capturing the Phoenix 100 at Phoenix International Raceway for his second victory in as many starts this season.

Pole winner Taylor led all 100 laps in his #4 Fulmar Panther Dallara-Infiniti, beating runner-up Thiago Medeiros to the finish by 1.0758secs in an incident-filled race. Tony Ave finished third, as rookies swept the podium positions. Taylor averaged 92.611mph around the one-mile oval in a race slowed by cautions four times for 33 laps. He padded his points lead to 104-80 over series and race runner-up Medeiros.

It was only the second time in Indy Racing League history that a driver led every lap of a race. Ryan Hampton led from start to finish to win the August 2002 event at Gateway International Raceway.

"It was a great race," Taylor said, "I was just able to keep it nice and stable up front. I had the advantage of clean air up there and kept it all the way through the race. That was a huge advantage."

Indeed, the Briton pulled away on each of the four restarts, building a lead as large as 4.9secs on lap 83. The final caution period started on lap 93 when Marty Roth's #3 Brian Stewart Racing entry hit the outside retaining wall in Turn Four. The driver was unhurt, but the resulting caution set up a one-lap chase for the chequered flag, as the green flew at the start of lap 100.

Taylor stayed ahead of Medeiros and Ave entering Turn One and never trailed thereafter. Medeiros, who started ninth, still was happy with his second consecutive runner-up finish of the season in the #36 Genoa Racing entry.

"This weekend was very difficult for us," Medeiros admitted, "We never had tested here before. It was difficult to find a very good set-up in the short time of the practices. We didn't have a good car when we qualified, but the race was incredible. Congratulations to everybody, the mechanics, the engineers."

Ave completed a fine comeback from a crash during Friday practice to earn a top-three finish in his first Infiniti Pro Series start in the #91 RFMS/Hemelgarn Racing Dallara.

"The disappointing part for me is that I made a mistake in traffic on Friday and got in the fence," Ave said, "Unfortunately, we lost a lot of laps. From there, the guys did such a great job. They put that thing together. We went out and it was just the same as it was before, which is amazing. Hemelgarn Racing did such a great job. Third is great, but I really wanted to win the race."

Phoenix International Raceway is one of the trickiest, most unforgiving tracks in the IRL. Although the IndyCar Series has raced at the facility every year since 1996, this was the first Infiniti Pro Series race at the desert track, and its difficult layout - every corner is different - caught out several drivers.

Veterans Cory Witherill and Ed Carpenter, and rookie Tom Wood were unhurt in separate incidents. Witherill was involved in two incidents in the #92 WSA Healthcare entry, spinning on the exit of Turn Two on lap 21 - but making no contact with the wall - before getting involved with rookie Jonathan Urlin and hitting the outside wall in Turn One after the chequered flag had flown. Again, neither driver was hurt.

The next Infiniti Pro Series race is the inaugural Freedom 100 on 17 May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For Taylor, the opportunity of racking up a hat-trick is an enticing one.

"Two wins in two races is great," he said, "Now we'll take it on to Indianapolis - that's the important one this year. With my knowledge of ovals - this is only my second race with the car - you know you're on a steep learning curve, but it just shows what a great team Panther is."