INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana - Nico Jamin claimed his second win of the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires season by dominating today’s race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, the first of a weekend doubleheader.
Jamin, driving the No. 27 DuraMAX powered by RelaDyne Dallara IL-15, got a jump on the field at drop of the green flag and defended a dive-bomb move by Andretti Autosport teammate Colton Herta (No. 98 Deltro Energy Mazda). That set the stage for the 21-year-old Frenchman to build a comfortable lead over the next 30 laps.
Jamin only faced a small challenge near the end from Zachary Claman De Melo (No. 13 Carlin ZCD Montreal/Zoological Wildlife Foundation). The Montreal, Canada, native moved his way around Herta and Kyle Kaiser (No. 18 Juncos Racing) into second place on Lap 23 and reeled Jamin in over the next seven laps.
He ultimately ran out of time as Jamin crossed the line 0.8405 of a second ahead to claim his second win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, the first coming in USF2000 two years ago.
Jamin noted that getting a good start and pulling away early were his keys to victory.
“I was nervous starting on pole because I saw in USF2000 that the guys behind me could get a huge run heading into Turn 1,” he said. “I knew I would have to get a really good jump at the start and I did.
“I was trying to push hard on the first 10 laps of the race to get away from Colton.”
He added that pushing hard early forced him to save his tires at the end.
“At the end I was really saving my tires,” he said. “Zach was a rocket ship behind me and he was catching up. I was a bit nervous not to miss some of my marks trying to push too hard.”
Claman De Melo’s second-place finish is the best of his Indy Lights career. The 19-year-old noted that being patiently aggressive helped get him to second place.
“I knew my race pace was really good, so throughout the race I stayed where I was,” he said. “I picked up a few positions by pressuring people and they made mistakes. A few more laps, I think I could have got him.”
Herta, who came into the race with the series points lead, had to pit on Lap 17 with a cut tire that relegated him to a 12th-place finish.
Saturday’s Indy Lights race kicks off at 1:15 p.m. and will be streamed live at RaceControl.IndyCar.com.