Brabham wins Gateway Indy Lights race with late pass

Matt Brabham

Matt Brabham has won the Gateway Indy Lights race after passing series leader Linus Lundqvist inside the final four laps.

Brabham qualified third and passed Benjamin Pedersen (Global Racing Group w/ HMD Motorsports) before Lap 1 around the 1.25-mile oval was done.

The Andretti Autosport driver then set about tailing the #26 HMD w/ Dale Coyne Racing entry, mostly running within a second of pole-sitter Lundqvist.

Despite Christian Rasmussen having a big slide and thumping the wall with the right-rear of his #28 Andretti entry while running third on Lap 52, the contest continued to run Caution-free.

On Lap 72 of 75, Brabham got a run on Lundqvist as they ran around Turn 1/Turn 2, then got Car #83 down the inside when they arrived at the other end of the back straight.

The Queenslander quickly gapped the Swede to the tune of almost a second and would go on to claim his second win of the season.

Notably, those two had clashed when Brabham tried to pass for the lead two races ago at Iowa, an incident for which Lundqvist would be penalised.

“I could tell he was starting to get loose toward the end of the race,” said Brabham.

“I think I showed too much of what I could do there in Iowa, in the top lane.

“I told the guys on my team I don’t want to show anyone anything because I think they’re learning too much from me, especially my teammates.

“I was saving that top line for the last couple of laps.”

Brabham (centre) celebrates

He added, “I just wanted to win so badly, especially after Iowa.

“I just had that grit.”

The result means Brabham moved up to second in the series standings, but Lundqvist is now just one short of the 109-point margin he needs to clinch the title in the next event of the season at Portland.

Pedersen finished fourth at Gateway, ahead of Danial Frost (HMD w/ DCR) and Hunter McElrea (Andretti), the latter of whom got up to fifth when he rounded up Jacob Abel (Abel Motorsports) through Turn 3/Turn 4 on Lap 55.

The Portland event takes place on September 2-4 (local time).

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