Felix Rosenqvist returned to victory lane in emphatic fashion in Toronto this weekend, dominating proceedings on his comeback to Indy Lights competition to complete a clean-sweep of flag-to-flag wins.
Having sat out the last two rounds of the American single-seater series due to clashing commitments back in Europe, Rosenqvist proved capable of swiftly readapting to his Belardi Auto Racing machine from the outset at the Canadian street track, topping the first of Friday’s practice sessions and going a close second, on used tyres, in the other.
He carried his form into qualifying, bagging pole position for the first race of the weekend by half a second, and went on to win the 35-lap opener after leading throughout the duration and setting the fastest lap on his way to victory – the Swede’s first since triumphing at the St. Petersburg (Florida) opener back in March.
Again on pole for Sunday’s Race 2, Rosenqvist maintained his advantage around the streets of Toronto’s Exhibition Place, storming off to a crushing 2.3-second lead at the end of the opening lap before controlling the remainder of the event from the front. In completing his Canadian clean-sweep, Rosenqvist became the first driver of the 2016 Indy Lights campaign to win twice on the same weekend.
“An absolutely incredible weekend,” says Felix Rosenqvist. “The car has been fantastic, giving me the confidence you need on a difficult and narrow track like this, and it’s been the most enjoyable experience. I was able to control the pace, manage the tyres, manage the gap, and it was one of those occasions when everything just came together. I honestly couldn’t dream of this having been away for two weekends, but we did it. Huge thanks to the guys at Belardi Auto Racing for a perfect job. I couldn’t be happier!”
The Toronto event marked Rosenqvist’s first-ever races on Canadian soil. The 24-year-old reigning European Formula 3 champion has now won three times in Indy Lights this season – more than any other driver.
Felix Rosenqvist will now shift his attention towards one of the true highlights of his 2016 season: the Total 24 Hours of Spa. The Belgian GT endurance classic takes place on July 26-31, with Rosenqvist set to share an AKKA-ASP Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Renger van der Zande (the Netherlands) and Tristan Vautier (France).
RESULTS (top five)
Indy Lights | Toronto (Ontario, Canada)
1: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), 35 laps
2: Felix Serralles (PRI), +7.3433s
3: Kyle Kaiser (USA), +11.9393s
4: Santiago Urrutia (URU), +15.8913s
5: Dean Stoneman (GBR), +19.2259s
1: Felix Rosenqvist (SWE), 45 laps
2: André Negrão (BRA), +7.2614s
3: Kyle Kaiser (USA), +9.4310s
4: Santiago Urrutia (URU), +10.0098s
5: Ed Jones (UAE), +30.1368s