High five for Webb around the streets of Trois Rivieres

Posted on in Latest News

06 August 2012


High five for Webb around the streets of Trois Rivieres









Series:                   Firestone Indy Lights Championship

Track:                    Streets of Trois Rivieres, Quebec

Track length:      1.530 mi (2.462 km)

Date:                     05 July 2012


Qualifying:          Pos. 8;  Time: 0m58.0665s  + 0.9271s

Race:                     Pos. 5;  + 37.9525s;  60 laps


Young British racer Oliver Webb continued a strong opening to his rookie season in the Firestone Indy Lights series this weekend, 4-5 August, securing a further top five finish on the streets of Trois Rivieres in Quebec, Canada for Round Nine of the championship.


As in all but one of the previous rounds this season, Webb arrived at the Trois Rivieres circuit with no experience of the track, other than from simulator work, but took the opportunity to learn from teammate, Tristan Vautier, who was returning for his fourth year on the street circuit. Despite this lack of experience however, Webb took advantage of the weekend’s free practice, and his ability to learn a new circuit was quickly evident, ending the session third overall in the second practice.


Confidence was high going in to qualifying off the back of this early performance, and early pace was strong as Webb continued to improve his times. As the 21-year old Briton pitted halfway through the session, he was again running in third. However, he was unable to improve his time further after returning to the track, and narrowly missed out on a place in the top six pole position shoot-out, lining up in P8.


A brief downpour as the grid formed for the start of the race meant that track conditions were extremely slippery as lights went green, with all drivers opting to remain on slick tyres.  Webb maintained position in the opening laps, and applied pressure to teammate Victor Carbone throughout the opening half of the 60 lap race, keen to move forward as quickly as possible and reduce the gap to the lead pack.


The Firestone Indy Lights race was the headline event of the weekend, unlike previous rounds throughout the season where the series has supported the IndyCar calendar, and the BRDC Superstar driver made the most this opportunity to shine in front of an excited crowd. Webb’s confidence was high in the Sam Schmidt Motosport (SSM) Lucas Oils-sponsored No. 7 car, and an error by Carbone shortly after half distance allowed Webb to make a move. With a strong car set-up, and a clear track ahead of him, he then pushed hard and set about closing in on the leaders.  After the early period of rain, the track remaining dry throughout the remainder of the race, and Webb’s laptimes continued to fall securing fifth place as he crossed the line.


Commenting on his weekend’s performance, Webb explained: ‘The Trois Rivieres circuit is fantastic, and there has been a great atmosphere here throughout the whole weekend. It was unusual not to have the IndyCar teams and fans with us, but it has been an amazing weekend with Indy Lights being the main attraction, and the fans here really get into the spirit of things.’


He continued: ‘A really great result for my teammate Tristan (Vautier) taking pole and victory this weekend, and a good result for SSM with three cars finishing in the top five. Simon Pagenaud also finishing on the podium in Ohio is great. It was a real help having Tristan to talk to, and to be able to tap into his knowledge of the circuit as he has raced here several times before. This additional insight helped me get up to speed quickly, and I felt confident going in to qualifying. I was a little disappointed not to reach the top six shoot-out, but performance in the race was much closer to what we had hoped for, and we made up a number of places, despite the tricky conditions.’


Webb now returns to the UK ahead of Round Ten of the Firestone Indy Lights Championship, which heads to the Streets of Baltimore over the weekend 1-2 September.


Log on to  http://www.indycar.com/indylights/ for additional details about the Championship. For information on Oliver Webb, visit http://www.oliwebbracing.com/ or follow him on twitter, www.twitter.com/oliverjameswebb.