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DATE News (chronologically)
07/11/09
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Sebastian Saavedra wins Lights race  
Sebastian Saavedra
Shawn Payne/IRL
Sebastian Saavedra pulled the Colombian flag from the cockpit of his No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers Inc. car and displayed it on his victory lap on the streets of Toronto.

Saavedra, the pole sitter, passed JR Hildebrand in Turn 1 on Lap 18 of 50 and went on to a 5.8630-second victory over his AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing teammate. It was his second victory of the season and sixth podium finish.

James Hinchcliffe, a Toronto native, finished third -- for the fourth time this season -- and Stefan Wilson of Walker Racing finished a season-high fourth.

All cars started on Firestone wet tires and most pitted for slicks within the first five laps as the 1.755-mile, 11-turn circuit continued to dry after a late-morning thunderstorm. Hildebrand and Saavedra pitted simultaneously on Lap 7, with Hildebrand's No. 26 ARPRO car getting back on the track first.

Hildebrand retained his Firestone Indy Lights championship points lead.

QUOTES:

SEBASTIAN SAAVEDRA (No. 27 Automatic Fire Sprinklers, race winner): "It wasn't easy, I'm telling you. This is one of the hardest tracks I've been to in wet conditions and dry conditions. We made a pit stop, things we're not use to. The 27 crew did an awesome job. I'm very happy for AFS/Andretti Green Racing. Points are points. We're thinking about the championship and that's what is important.

J.R. HILDEBRAND (No. 26 ARPRO, finished second): "We definitely salvaged a good finish out of that. I really owe it to the boys in the pits. They really did an awesome job with the pit stop. I hit the wall early and bent the rear suspension pretty badly, like five or six laps into the race, so I was just hanging on for most of the race. I thought maybe I could stick with Sebastian (Saavedra) because I was sort of keeping up with him for most of the middle segment, and the thing just started going haywire on me through the fast stuff, so after I almost wrecked the car a couple of times. I just backed off and I thought we'd get it to the finish. It was good for the boys, and we'll see what we've got in a couple of weeks in Edmonton."

JAMES HINCHCLIFFE (No. 7 Hinchtown/Sam Schmidt Motorsports): "Man, what a tough race. With the conditions changing like that and having to do live pit stops for the first time in my career in Firestone Indy Lights was a bit exciting. The car was really good. The SSM (Sam Schmidt Motorsports) guys gave us a great car all weekend. Qualifying on the front row and bringing it home on the podium was great. I think we lost a little time on the pit stop but we were running consistent race laps after that, so I've got to be happy with a hometown podium. I've got to thank all of my friends and family. It was a great weekend, and like I said, it was tough in those changing positions but we had good Firestone Firehawks in the rain and good Firestone Firehawks in the dry, so it was a great weekend."

STEFAN WILSON: (No. 19 Walker Racing, finished fourth): "It was good, I was quick in the wet and soon as it started to dry out, we pitted for slicks at just the right time, and it was the right choice. We were really quick straight away when we exited the pits and were probably the fastest car on the track. Towards the end, the car started to go off and I had a few problems inside the cockpit so by the last 10 laps there was no way I was going to catch Hinch (Hinchcliffe), so I just preserved and kept my fourth place which is my best finish all year.

JAMES DAVISON (No. 21 People*s Liberation, finished fifth): "We were running second and the track dried out to the point where everyone had to pit and get off the rain tires because we just couldn't turn anymore. And then there was a very big miscue with my pit stop I'm not quite sure what happened but we lost like 30 seconds and I went all the way back probably nearly to last. I've never driven so hard in my life to get through the field and secure a top five so I've gotta be happy with my drive. A bit disappointed with the result considering we had the speed to win today but people know we're quick and our time will come."

Results

Pos

SP Car Driver Lap Laps Down Time Down Running/Reason Out
1 1 27 Saavedra, Sebastian (R) 50 0 0.0000 Running
2 6 26 Hildebrand, JR 50 0 5.8630 Running
3 2 7 Hinchcliffe, James (R) 50 0 21.2968 Running
4 5 19 Wilson, Stefan (R) 50 0 37.1928 Running
5 3 21 Davison, James 50 0 42.8839 Running
6 11 5 Romancini, Mario (R) 50 0 54.9170 Running
7 10 11 Cunningham, Wade 50 0 57.1605 Running
8 8 44 Yacaman, Gustavo (R) 49 1 3.6687 Running
9 18 28 Herrington, Daniel (R) 49 1 12.0793 Running
10 9 2 Prendeville, Andrew 49 1 19.5662 Running
11 15 9 Jackson, Ali (R) 49 1 29.4763 Running
12 12 15 Plowman, Martin (R) 49 1 29.8730 Running
13 7 20 Beatriz, Ana 49 1 30.0846 Running
14 4 37 Philippe, Richard (R) 49 1 38.0063 Running
15 13 35 Kimball, Charlie (R) 49 1 39.0927 Running
16 14 16 Mann, Pippa (R) 46 4 4.6132 Running
17 17 55 Barbosa, Rodrigo (R) 36 14 - Running
18 16 3 Mokshantsev, Sergey (R) 33 17 - Running

Race Statistics

      Winner's average speed: 90.599 mph

      Time of race: 58:06.7934

      Margin of victory: 5.8630 seconds

      Cautions: no caution flags

    Lead changes: 3 among 3 drivers

      Lap leaders: Saavedra 1-7, Philippe 8, Hildebrand 9-17,

      Saavedra 18-50.

      Point standings: Hildebrand 319, Saavedra 268, Romancini 249,

      Cunningham 242, Davison 236, Hinchcliffe 235, Herrington 218,

      Beatriz 203, Yacaman 199, Kimball 184.

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