Mario Romancini led the Indy Lights Milwaukee race from flag to flag, taking a debut victory over a thinned-down field that has lost 11 cars since the season opener eight weeks ago.
Just 16 drivers took part in the Husar’s House of Fine Diamonds 100, with Panther Racing’s Martin Plowman and Pippa Mann being the only survivors of the six Britons who raced at St Petersburg.
Mann’s ninth place was her best finish of the year – and first of any sort on an oval – while Plowman was classified 15th, having lost 16 laps on the rest of the field thanks to locked brakes that brought him to a halt on the front stretch early in the race.
The pair had qualified in ninth and 13th places.
Mann said: “Finally I got to see a chequered flag on an oval! We were running our own little race out there. After qualifying I hoped we could tag along with the leaders and run with the front pack, but on race pace I couldn’t stick with the faster cars.
“The guys did an awesome job giving me a well balanced car, so it was a good experience for me to complete this race heading to Iowa. We had a rough start of the season but we are working hard to turn it around.”
Plowman said his early problems forced him to use the race as an extended testing session: “Pretty much this was a weekend to forget. We took a direction in qualifying that didn’t work for me and during the race we encountered brake problems.
“My race basically started with 15 laps down, so we used it as a test to improve the car looking forward to the rest of the season. After the middle of the race I was pretty happy with the balance of the car and was running the same speed as some Top Five cars.
“Thankfully this is a very unique place and it’s not an indicator for the rest of the season.”
J.R. Hildebrand and Sebastian Saavedra were second and third, with the American able to double his championship lead over his rival to 10 points.