AXCIL Jefferies is quickly making a name for himself in Indy Lights competition in the United States.
Returning to the popular US racing circuit after almost a year, the 20-year-old Zimbabwean motor racing ace put on a superb display on his way to finishing 6th and 4th respectively in his two races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Indianapolis at the weekend.
Competing for Belardi Auto Racing in his first Indy Lights race of the season, Jefferies was impressive en route to a sixth-place finish on Saturday.
According to reports from the US, Jefferies — who had qualified in sixth place — lost a couple of positions early, but soon picked up the pace, passing Scott Anderson on Lap 20 and then usurping Zack Meyer when the Canadian made a small mistake just four laps from the finish.
“We had a very productive weekend in Mid-Ohio. I knew it we could come out with a decent result as Belardi had won with the same car two weeks ago and they are a great team. Although I have not driven the Indy Lights for a year, I needed to make the best of this opportunity and prove my worth,” said Jefferies in an interview with NewsDay Sport yesterday.
“For our first race on Saturday, I was a bit too cautious on the start and lost two positions and was stuck behind slower guys for the first half of the race. Then I had no option but to throw caution to the wind and pulled off two daring and brave moves to pass and get back to 6th.
“Mid-Ohio is not a track where you normally overtake as it is high speed corners. So I finished of 6th.”
After the rather cautious start on Saturday, Jefferies managed to compete with more freedom on Sunday and was just unlucky to miss out on a podium finish.
Jefferies managed to hold on for fourth position ahead of a hard-fought battle for fifth.
“Yesterday [Sunday] I knew I had to attach from the go and made two early passes in the first lap, moving up to 4th where I finished. Overall, it was a great weekend and I would like to thank my sponsors American Honda, Starting Grid Inc, and I am happy to have raced as a UN Aids Ambassador. I think we can safely say we Protected the Goal,” Jefferies said.
Jefferies, who was recently appointed a global sporting ambassador for the United Nations HIV and Aids, took part in the double-header race at Mid-Ohio as part of the organisation’s latest awareness campaign.
Englishman Jack Harvey completed a clean sweep of this weekend’s Indy Lights races with impressive wins in the two races on Saturday and Sunday.
The Brit, who took the first Lights win of his career in Saturday’s race, streaked away from pole position, and after struggling for pace early on he recovered to eventually cross the line 12.1 seconds clear of second-placed Zach Veach.