New Zealand driver Hunter McElrea led all 35 laps of the Mid-Ohio Indy Lights race on Sunday, scoring his first series win in the process.
McElrea put in a dominant performance over the entire weekend by leading both practice sessions, qualifying on pole and leading the race start-to-finish.
The Andretti Autosport driver bet his teammate Matthew Brabham to the finish by 2.68 seconds with championship leader Linus Lundqvist rounding out the podium positions in third.
McElrea’s victory didn’t come without its challenges though.
The first lap saw Lundqvist, who started in second, stay side-by-side with the Kiwi upon the race start with the two making slight contact in turn four.
By lap 20 however, McElrea was six-seconds ahead of Brabham and 15 seconds ahead of Lundqvist.
The Kiwi driver was glad to finally score his first win after he lost out in the season opener at St. Petersburg in Florida. McElrea had scored pole and led the race for 11 laps but a mistake put him in the wall, ending his race.
“I’m just relieved,” McElrea said.
“I knew I could do this. This weekend, I just wanted to go back to having fun and letting everything handle itself.
“I can’t thank everyone who has supported me. It means a lot, and I’m just really relieved and really happy with this.”
It was a stellar weekend for Kiwis in both Indy series with IndyCar driver Scott McLaughlin taking his second ever series win.