The Indy Lights series originated in 1986 and was called the American Racing Series (ARS). It served as a training ground for racers with the intention of competing in CART (Championship Auto Racing Teams). Indy Lights is now considered the top rung of the ladder for Mazda’s Road to Indy. The Mazda Road to Indy is a driver development program, providing a scholarship-funded path to reach the Verizon IndyCar Series and the Indianapolis 500.

The first generation cars used in the American Racing Series were manufactured by March and powered by a Buick V6 engine. Since then a number of different chassis and engine combinations have been used. In 2015, Indy Lights competitors started racing a Dallara IL-15 chassis powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged Mazda MZR-R motor.

The championship has proven to be a successful training ground for some of the drivers competing in the 2018 Verizon IndyCar series – Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan, Scott Dixon, Josef Newgarden, Spencer Pigot, Ed Jones, Gabby Chaves, Helio Castroneves, James Hinchcliffe, Graham Rahal, etc.

The 2018 Indy Lights season opened with rounds one and two at Saint Petersburg, Florida. This event is followed by doubleheaders at Barber Motorsports Park and the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Freedom 100 will be held on the oval at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Road America with host race eight and nine in the series. Road America is followed by an event at Iowa Speedway. Next up are doubleheaders at Toronto and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The penultimate race weekend will be at Gateway Motorsports Park. The final two rounds of the season will take place at Portland International Raceway.

Rounds eleven and twelve of the 2018 Indy Lights championship presented by Cooper Tires were held at Toronto’s Exhibition Place. Drivers would compete in two races (Saturday and Sunday) around the eleven turn 1.786-mile temporary street circuit.

The podium for round eleven of the 2018 Indy Lights championship. To the right is the third-place finisher from Andretti Racing, Ryan Norman. On the left side of the rostrum is the runner-up, Santi Urrutia who is a member of the Belardi Auto Racing team. In the center is another Andretti Autosport driver and the winner, Pato O’Ward who moved into the championship lead with this victory.
At Toronto, misfortune for the point’s leader, Colton Herta allowed Pato O’Ward to jump from second to first in the title chase. Herta fractured his thumb during the qualifying session and was not a factor in rounds eleven and twelve. In the weekend’s first event, O’Ward started second but with Herta’s problem, he was able to lead flag-to-flag. On Sunday, he started and finished second and left Toronto with the championship lead.
On Sunday, it was all about Santiago Urrutia. Urrutia started round twelve on the pole and led all thirty-five-laps for his second victory of the season. The previous day, he chased the winner, Patricio O’Ward and captured the runner-up position. Urrutia’s performance in Toronto kept his championship hopes alive as, he is within forty-points of the leader, O’Ward with five events remaining.
It was a difficult weekend for the point’s leader, Colton Herta. Herta entered the weekend with eight more markers than his chief rival for the championship, Pato O’Ward. In qualifying for race one, Herta set the fastest lap but hit a concrete wall and fractured his left thumb. He was unable to finish the two rounds in Toronto and fell to second in the standings – eighteen-points behind O’Ward.
Another driver benefitting from Colton Herta’s misfortune was Belardi Auto Racing’s, Aaron Telitz. It had been a difficult start to the season for Telitz, he failed to score points in the first three races. In round five at the Indianapolis Grand Prix, he earned his first podium of 2018. At Toronto, he scored a fourth-place finish on Saturday and the following day, Telitz grabbed the final spot on the rostrum.
In 2018, Andretti Autosport driver, Ryan Norman was proving to be a steady performer. In the first ten rounds of the season, Norman had one podium finish (race two at Saint Petersburg) and finished every race on the same lap as the winner. Toronto was a particularly good weekend for Norman – in round eleven, he earned the last position on the rostrum and on Sunday, he finished fourth.
Sunday’s Indy Lights podium for round twelve at the Streets of Toronto. In the center and earning his second victory of the season is Santiago Urrutia. To Urrutia’s right is the new point’s leader and the winner of race eleven, Patricio O’Ward. Completing the podium and making his fourth visit to the rostrum in 2018 is Aaron Telitz.

12Pato O'WardDallara IL-15 / Mazda MZR-RAndretti Autosport35-
23Santi UrrutiaDallara IL-15 / Mazda MZR-RBelardi Auto Racing35-
36Ryan NormanDallara IL-15 / Mazda MZR-RAndretti Autosport35-
44Aaron TelitzDallara IL-15 / Mazda MZR-RBelardi Auto Racing35-
57Dalton KellettDallara IL-15 / Mazda MZR-RAndretti Autosport34-
65Victor FranzoniDallara IL-15 / Mazda MZR-RJuncos Racing31Accident
71Colton HertaDallara IL-15 / Mazda MZR-RAndretti Steinbrenner Racing22Accident

11Santi UrrutiaDallara IL-15 / Mazda MZR-RBelardi Auto Racing35-
24Pato O'WardDallara IL-15 / Mazda MZR-RAndretti Autosport35-
32Aaron TelitzDallara IL-15 / Mazda MZR-RBelardi Auto Racing35-
45Ryan NormanDallara IL-15 / Mazda MZR-RAndretti Autosport35-
56Dalton KellettDallara IL-15 / Mazda MZR-RAndretti Autosport35-
63Colton HertaDallara IL-15 / Mazda MZR-RAndretti Steinbrenner Racing4Did Not Finish
77Victor FranzoniDallara IL-15 / Mazda MZR-RJuncos Racing3Did Not Finish

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