Bring it on! Dubai’s Jones tar­gets Indy Lights ti­tle

Race ace goes into the fi­nale just one point be­hind ti­tle leader

7 Days in Dubai - - SPORT -

Dubai driver Ed Jones will go into the fi­nal race of the 2016 Indy Lights cam­paign with the ti­tle in his sights af­ter se­cur­ing a sec­ond-place fin­ish last week­end.

The Car­lin ace, 21, bat­tled to his sev­enth podium of the sea­son in the Watkins Glen In­ter­na­tional and is only one point be­hind ti­tle ri­val San­ti­ago Ur­ru­tia, who is on 319 points.

The 2016 Indy Lights sea­son finishes with rounds 17 and 18 on Septem­ber 9-11 at Mazda Race­way La­guna Seca – and Jones goes into the de­cider with the ex­pe­ri­ence of miss­ing out in a sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tion last year.

Speak­ing about his re­sult at Watkins Glen In­ter­na­tional, Jones said: “I love Watkins Glen – it’s a real old­school circuit and so much fun to drive with its high­speed cor­ners and fast, flow­ing na­ture.

“I knew I needed to fin­ish ahead of Ur­ru­tia to claw back some points in the cham­pi­onship, but ev­ery time I went for a move he cov­ered it by us­ing one of his push-to-passes. Still, in a race that was quite dif­fer­ent to what we’ve been used to in terms of tyre degra­da­tion, sec­ond place was a very solid re­sult – es­pe­cially with my two main ri­vals both hit­ting trou­ble.” With La­guna Seca mark­ing the fi­nale of the 2016 Mazda Road to Indy se­ries, Jones says he will draw on his past ex­pe­ri­ences. He added: “We’ll go to La­guna Seca with every­thing to play for. We had a good car there last year and it’s an­other circuit I en­joy, so I’m feel­ing op­ti­mistic and will be able to draw upon my ex­pe­ri­ence from last year’s ti­tle-de­cider.” The ti­tle win­ner won’t just take home the cham­pi­onship tro­phy but also se­cure a Mazda Schol­ar­ship worth $1 mil­lion that will as­sist them in grad­u­at­ing to the 2017 Ver­i­zon IndyCar Se­ries. Jones said: “I’m not go­ing to un­der­es­ti­mate any­body, but by the same to­ken, I know I’m a much stronger and more com­plete driver than I was 12 months ago – so bring it on.”

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