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IndyLights - Daly Impressive At GP3R


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Noblesville, August 8, 2011: Race-day Sunday dawned gray and overcast for MAZDASPEED driver, Conor Daly, but it provided the ideal backdrop for the battle to continue between the two fastest Firestone, Indy Lights drivers in Trois-Rivieres, Daly and team-mate, Argentinean, Esteban Guerrieri. Guerrieri took the lead at the first corner with Daly right in his wheel tracks. For the next 40 laps Daly shadowed Guerrieri through the tight street circuit attempting to pressure the Argentinean into a mistake. With the rest of the field far behind, the rains came just after lap 40.

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As the two lead drivers battled through lapped traffic in the treacherous conditions, Guerrieri made a slight error running wide into turn two and Daly made his move for the lead down his inside. They raced side by side out of turn two downhill towards the famous Porte Pacifique Arch landmark before Guerrieri had to surrender first place as Daly was on the inside line.

The race was then red flagged due to the treacherous conditions for all cars to change to wet weather tires. At the restart, IndyCar ordered Daly to start behind Guerrieri in second place as the race director had determined that there was a full course caution “called” before Daly made the pass - even though the first yellow flags did not appear until the end of the next straight nor did Daly’s cockpit yellow light warning system come on.

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On the first lap of the wet restart, Daly attempted to take the lead again at turn 2 when he spun and hit the wall. It was a frustrating end to what was an impressive return to the Firestone Indy Lights series for Daly who has spent the bulk of this season racing in the European GP3 series.

“I’m disappointed for myself and for my guys at SSM”, said Daly. “They do such a good job for me and it’s hard to not finish for them, even though I was going for the lead. Esteban is one of the best team-mates anyone could have but he definitely made a mistake because instead of backing off thinking there was a yellow, he raced me down the hill out of turn two. That was a tough and a close call”, continued Daly. “I’m happy that my speed was as fast as anyone even though I have been away for most of the season. I look forward to another opportunity in Baltimore”.

Daly returned to the Indy Lights series from his base in London, England, where is contesting the Formula One support series, GP3. His next race is in Spa, Belgium, August 26th-28th.