Baron captures first Indy Lights in Toronto

The CN Tower stands in the background as Indy cars drive down Lakeshore Boulevard during a practice session for the Toronto Indy in Toronto on Friday, July 18, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

TORONTO — Rookie Alex Baron went wire to wire to capture his first Indy Lights victory at the Honda Indy Toronto on Sunday.

Baron, who missed the most recent Indy Lights race at Pocono on July 5, captured his first ever pole on Saturday with the fastest lap of 1:06.82.

Series leader Gabby Chaves finished second while Jack Harvey, who is third in the Indy Lights standings, finished third.

“It feels always good to win the race. Even better in Indy Lights,” said the 19-year-old Baron. “I’m really honoured and thrilled to achieve that.”

The drivers said they were cautious in the early going, as the track was slick from rain all day Saturday which forced the postponement of the first race of the Honda Indy.

“The first couple laps were really tricky,” said Harvey, who started the race from the fifth spot. “To be honest, I was in a good position, which is the worst position to be in because you have no idea where you’re going to break or how wet it is.

“We did three laps with the pace car before the green flag, but you’re not really getting a good reference there.”

Chaves, a teammate of Baron’s at Belardi Auto Racing, entered the race with an 11-point lead.

“So proud of (Alex) to miss Pocono and then come back and win here, what an amazing job. I’m really happy for him,” said Chaves, who picked up 40 points in the standings Sunday. “You always want to win, no matter what. You never come to the race without thinking you have a chance of winning.

“If you can’t win, you better hope your teammate can or that your main rivals in the championship don’t, so I had a good day.”

Baron said he wasn’t sure what to expect from the track entering the race, which was pushed up to 8:30 a.m. Eastern time as a result of IndyCar running two races Sunday.

“I was just guessing the corners,” he said. “Kind of figured it out. In Turn 1, I tried braking a couple of times, I didn’t really know what to expect.”

Baron picked up 52 points in the standings with the win. The next race on the Indy Lights series goes Aug. 2 in Lexington, Ohio.

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