Sunday, July 14, 2024

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Indy NXT Laguna Seca: Foster Wins Double Header Weekend

The 20-year-old Briton performed as he did on Saturday, once more leading all 35 laps and winning by 4.3962 seconds on the two.238-mile, 11-turn natural terrain course. Thanks to the victory and an error by rival Jacob Abel, Foster now takes the lead within the championship by 35 points.

“Like I said yesterday, Andretti gave me an amazing car, I just do my thing,” Foster said.

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“It was an excellent weekend. Sunny California skies, you couldn't ask for anything more. I'm very blissful about it. We worked really hard to be here, so I'm really blissful that it's paying off now.

HMD Motorsports rookie Caio Collet finished second ahead of Andretti Global rookie Bryce Aron in third.

Yuven Sundaramoorthy finished fourth, taking twenty second place for Abel Motorsports, the identical position he finished in the primary race.

Andretti Cape’s Salvador de Alba Jr began from eleventh on the grid to complete fifth, while pseudo-teammate Jamie Chadwick passed essentially the most cars in her Andretti Global machine to maneuver up from 14th to sixth.

Race

Having almost made a repeat start within the opening race, Collet tried to pass Foster on the surface going into Turn 2. Foster successfully defended the lead, but Collet was in a position to stay close within the short term.

After five laps, Foster had gained a lead of 1.4467 seconds over Collett, with Gold and Abel in third and fourth place respectively.

The order of favourites remained unchanged, with Foster increasing his lead by over 3 seconds on lap 15.

However, contact between HMD Motorsports teammates Callum Hedge and Christian Brooks during his debut weekend in Indy NXT resulted in a caution on lap 16 after the pair collided in a battle for tenth place at Turn 2. Brooks continued on but Hedge stalled in the course of the Andretti hairpin.

When the race resumed on lap 17, Foster made a clean jump and cleared the sphere. Over the subsequent 4 laps he gained a bonus of 1.5513 seconds.

With lower than 10 laps remaining, Foster had a 2.7-second advantage over Collet, while Gold was in third position, 12.3 seconds behind.

The final podium step modified hands with eight laps remaining when Gold and Abel met within the Corkscrew, causing suspension damage to Gold's No. 10 HMD Motorsports automobile, resulting in a premature retirement. Meanwhile, momentum pushed Abel off beam and allowed Andretti Global's Bryce Aron to pass them each for third place.

Abel was given a drive-through penalty by race control for unavoidable contact. He finished eleventh.

Foster’s advantage was 3.3 seconds with five laps to go, with the tightest battle for sixth place between Andretti Global’s Jamie Chadwick, HMD Motorsports/Force Indy’s Myles Rowe and Brooks.

Rowe's probabilities of staying within the fight diminished with three laps to go and he dropped to sixteenth.

Foster sailed to the checkered flag to scrub up the weekend, while Collet finished second in each races.

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