Ed Jones

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Ed Jones picked up March 29 where he left off the day before by dominating the second race of the Mazda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg Presented by Peninsula Pipeline.

The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires rookie made an exemplary start from the pole for the Carlin team and led throughout the 45-lap race. Fellow Brit Jack Harvey was second for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian, while Floridian Spencer Pigot, who has moved up to Indy Lights after winning last year's Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and a MAZDASPEED scholarship prize, finished third for Juncos Racing.

Ed Jones and Trevor CarlinClick it: Race 1 results || Race 2 results

Jones posted what was to stand as the fastest lap of the race (1 minute, 06.866 seconds on the 1.8-mile, 14-turn street circuit) on Lap 21 and never looked back. His eventual margin of victory was a commanding 9.0708 seconds. The races marked the debut of the Dallara IL-15 chassis and 2.0-liter turbocharged Mazda MZR-R engine.

"The car was great throughout the race. It was the longest race I've ever done but it felt quicker than yesterday's race somehow," Jones said. "I just had to focus, keep pushing and not make any mistakes. What won the race for us was consistency, making sure I took care of the tires. But it's all come down to the hard work and dedication the team and I have done through the past few months.

"The preparation for this race was massive; we did so much work so that when we got out on the track, we would be fast straightaway. I studied older on-boards, YouTube videos, made my own notes and visualized the track so that when I got here, it was almost like I'd driven it a hundred times. But it is a different kind of race for me, to be on a street circuit with concrete walls all around."

Heading into the season opener, Jones, 20, obliterated the Indy Lights lap record in qualifying, setting the pace at 1:05.3193 -- more than a second inside the old record set in 2010 by current Verizon IndyCar Series star James Hinchcliffe. Jones duly continued that form in the race, taking the lead at the start and then, following a full-course caution on Lap 2, edged clear almost at will.

Jones' final margin of victory after 30 laps was a comfortable 3.7085 seconds over Harvey. Pigot finished third.

The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires field will return for more street course action in Long Beach, Calif., on April 19.

Mazda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg - Race 1 & Race 2 Podiums:
1. Ed Jones; 2. Jack Harvey; 3. Spencer Pigot
Ed Jones, Jack Harvey, and Spencer Pigot