TORONTO – Mangled carbon fiber pieces of the front and rear wings, sidepods and assorted other components from the Dallara IL15 were an eerie reminder as crews from all four Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian entries began the task of essentially building a new car from the existing tub to get RC Enerson on the starting grid for Race 2 of the Cooper Tires Grand Prix of Toronto Powered by Mazda.
A few hours earlier, Enerson was involved in a spectacular Race 1 crash that rattled the 18-year-old’s confidence but not his resolve.
“We were quick in practice and to be able to put it (on the front row) was my best qualifying all year, so it was a good start,” said Enerson, of New Port Richey, Fla. “Having that miss-timed pass happen I lost a lot of confidence in myself coming back for (the second race). It becomes so real.”
The incident (watch video below) occurred on Lap 14 of the scheduled 35-lap Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires race when Enerson made a move to outside in an attempt to overtake race leader Nelson Piquet Jr. on the fastest section of the racetrack approaching the braking zone of the right-hand Turn 3.
The right-front tire of Enerson’s car made contact with the left-rear tire of Nelson Piquet Jr.’s No. 14 Carlin entry, causing it to become airborne. It made contact with the catch fence and slid on its side down through the Turn 3 run-off and flipped as it plowed through two sets of tire barriers.
Enerson climbed from the car without assistance from the Holmatro Safety team and was checked at the infield care center and cleared to drive.
Soon after confirming that the tub (driver safety cell) was not compromised, it was all hands on deck (watch the time lapse video below).
“As soon as the car was dropped off it was straight to repairs. We got a Mazda loaner motor and they were here till about 3 a.m. and I can’t thank them enough,” Enerson said. “It’s an impressive task to completely tear down the car and put it back together in that amount of hours.”
Enerson started third for Race 2, but again his challenge for the victory was thwarted when the car spun on the rain-soaked frontstraight coming to a Lap 7 restart on the 1.755-mile, 11-turn Exhibition Place street circuit. Minor repairs to the left-rear suspension allowed Enerson to complete the race and finish fifth.
“I had P2 pretty well in hand and had some wheel spin on the restart and spun myself out,” he said. “They repaired the suspension piece, and to go back out and finish fifth was pretty good. I’m really looking forward to hitting the refresh button and going into the next race with a clear head.”
Spencer Pigot held off series championship points leader Jack Harvey to win by 0.6815 of a second. Pigot also led Harvey across the start-finish line in Race 2.
Fantastic effort by the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports crews to rebuild the #7 Lucas Oill MAVTV car for todays race HondaIndyToronto Mazda Road to Indy
Posted by RC Enerson Racing on Sunday, June 14, 2015