Second-to-last IMSA Prototype Challenge race of year set for VIR

August 21, 2019

Second-to-last IMSA Prototype Challenge race of year set for VIR

August 21, 2019

Just two races remain in the 2019 IMSA Prototype Challenge season and Forty7 Motorsports is closing on the LMP3 championship.

Austin McCusker and Rodrigo Pflucker’s win last time out at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, more than a month and a half ago, placed the duo squarely at the front of the field with a healthy margin.

With a 13-point lead with just two races to go, McCusker and Pflucker hold control in their No. 47 Norma M30 prototype.

“We’re almost in the same place as last year, and now with a bigger points lead after extending it,” McCusker said at CTMP. “We rolled off the truck so well. Thanks to great strategy, flawless pit stops and a great opening stint from Rodrigo. We got it all good this weekend.”

LAMELAS, ALBERICO SEEK TO CLOSE

The pairing has outscored their closest competitors, Neil Alberico and Leo Lamelas, by 16 points the last three races. A significant swing back the other way in one race is unlikely, but not impossible.

Lamelas and Alberico, in the No. 4 ANSA Motorsports Ligier JS P3, will need a significant result at VIR if they’re to make a dent on McCusker and Pflucker.

A year ago, ANSA’s best car finished second this race. Lamelas was fourth in the car he shared with Andrew Evans. McCusker and his co-driver, T.J. Fischer, finished sixth.

Pflucker and Alberico will make their first LMP3 VIR starts this weekend. As he has with most IMSA venues thanks to his open-wheel upbringing, Alberico does have some VIR track experience. He posted a best finish of second in a USF2000 open-wheel race there in 2012.

FEW OTHER NOTES

A couple entry list changes beckon. Mid-Ohio winner Dylan Murry will have Skylar Robinson filling in for Dakota Dickerson in the No. 54 MLT Motorsports Ligier. Sebring winner Stevan McAleer is back to racing solo in his No. 43 Robillard Racing Norma with Joe Robillard back in the team’s second car, the No. 10 car. McAleer blitzed the previous track record in qualifying at CTMP. There are other tweaks as well within the 24-car field a little further down the grid.

The series is back to its standard race length of one hour, 45 minutes, following CTMP’s three-hour race. It’ll cap off Saturday’s track day activity from 5:55 to 7:40 p.m. EDT and local time, and airs live on IMSA.TV with IMSA Radio commentary.

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