Junior Open Wheel Talent

News and Views on Drivers Chasing Open-Wheel Stardom

J.R. Hildebrand Wins, Gustavo Yacaman Charges…

by Ryan Stringfield
Posted July 4, 2009 at 2:31 pm Indy Lights

J.R. Hildebrand took his second win of the season, moments ago, in the Corning 100 at Watkins Glen International. The 21-year-old American had a really solid car and managed to improve 3 spots in today’s race.

James Davison had a great run to finish 2nd after putting the car on pole in yesterday’s qualifying session. Felipe Guimaraes was perhaps the most impressive driver in the field as he made a last lap pass on Sebastian Saavedra to finish 3rd in his first Indy Lights race after qualifying 6th. The Brazilian driver definitely turned some heads today, it will be interesting to see if he can come up with the necessary funding to run a few more races with Bryan Herta Autosport. Charlie Kimball had a breakthrough day by finishing fourth, his first top-five in the Indy Lights series. The track seemed to really suit his driving style and his performance today was rewarded by a solid finish. Sebastian Saavedra narrowly rounded out the top-five after losing two spots on the final lap, following a restart. He was lucky to have finished fifth after turning into Kimball (in an effort to avoid being passed) heading up-the-hill on the last lap. Saavedra is incredibly fast, but needs to learn to settle down in the car and make better decisions. As he develops his race-mode maturity, he will be nearly unstoppable. Saavedra set the quickest lap of the race with a 1:37.6704.

The hard charger of the day was Gustavo Yacaman, who improved 11 positions. The eighteen-year-old Colombian put in an incredible drive to finish 8th after starting 19th.

**update** Richard Philippe was promoted to fifth after Sebastian Saavedra was penalized 30 seconds for his move on Kimball during the last lap of the race. The penalty moves Saavedra to 18th in the final standings.
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Indy Lights
Corning 100
Complete Results
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(photo: Ron McQueeney/ indycar.com)

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