IMSA Prototype Challenge Wulver Racing Ligier JS P320

IPC: The #60 Wulver Racing Ligier JS P320 reigns in Virginia

26 - 28 August 2022 – Virginia International Raceway hosted round four of the IMSA Prototype Challenge. The penultimate race of the championship was won by the #60 Wulver Racing Ligier JS P320, which not only won the pole but also scored its third win of the season. The #77 US RaceTronics car finished third to collect its second podium result.

Friday, 26 August, Jason Rabe and Corey Lewis in the #54 MLT Motorsports Ligier JS P320 topped the timing screen in Free Practice 1 with the fastest lap of 1:41.967s, ahead of the #60 Wulver Racing car driven by championship leader Tonis Kasemets.

The following day the #60 Ligier JS P320 secured pole position. Tonis Kasemets led the 16-car LMP3 field and set the fastest lap with a time of 1:47.906s. With three wins from four races to date in 2022, the team and its gentleman driver were odds-on favourites for another victory at Virginia International Raceway.

Clear domination by the #60 of Wulver Racing

The race started at 8.40 am local time on Sunday, 28 August. While the #60 Ligier JS P320 held on to the lead, several LMP3s lost control and went off the track. As Tonis Kasemets sped away to a comfortable lead, the #6 Performance Tech Motorsports car driven by Dan Goldburg (and Oscar Bitar) defended third place ahead of the #44 Ave Motorsports with GRS car driven by Josh Sarchet (and Kaz Grala). But a few minutes later, the #44 overtook the #6.

Further back, the second Ave Motorsports with GRS Ligier JS P320, the #61 with George Staikos (and Hanna Zellers) battled for ninth place with the #7 Performance Tech Motorsports car, driven by Robert Mau (and Christopher Allen). The pressure mounted, and the #61 ended up spinning.

Battles throughout the field

At the front, the #44 Ligier JS P320 of Josh Sarchet made a solid passing move to slot into second place. Tonis Kasemets (#60 Wulver Racing) now led Josh Sarchet by six seconds. Further back, the #3 Jr III Racing car with Terry Olson (and Courtney Crone), the #7 Performance Tech car and the #30 Jr III Racing car with Ari Balogh were battling for eighth place.

The pit stop benefited the #30 Ligier JS P320 had an excellent pit stop to climb from tenth to second place behind the #60. The #54 was fourth, followed by the #6 Performance Tech Motorsports car and the #74 Riley Motorsports car with Gar Robinson (and Shane Lewis) driving. Shortly before the final half hour of the race, Hanna Zellers in the #61 went off circuit violently. To everyone's relief, Hanna escaped unharmed.

The #77 of US RaceTronics and the #74 de Riley Motorsports battle for the podium

The race restarted with 15 minutes remaining. Contact between the third place #54 Ligier JS P320 and another LMP3 competitor ruined the chances of the MLT Motorsports team to finish on the podium. The #77 of US RaceTronics found itself in third place. But the pressure from the #74 of Riley Motorsports was ever-present.

Following a daring restart, Toni Kasemets in the #60 Wulver Racing Ligier JS P320 received the chequered flag with a ten-second advantage.  “I have only one pace,” Kasemets said in victory lane. “If you go slow, you make mistakes, so you've got to just go all out (…) The team is mega, they do all their homework, no corners cut (…) We've been together for a long, long, long time. This is unbelievable.”

With three wins in four races, the team heads to the season finale at Road Atlanta with one goal in mind: to hpold onto the lead and win the championship.

The #77 US RaceTronics Ligier JS P320 finished third, its second podium finish of 2022. The #74 Riley Motorsports car finished just off the podium ahead of the #30 Jr III Racing car and the #6 Performance Tech Motorsports car.

The outcome of the IMSA Prototype Challenge championship will be decided on Friday, 30 September, at the season-ending race at Road Atlanta.

For complete results, CLICK HERE.

For the overall standings, CLICK HERE.

For more information about the Ligier JS P320, CLICK HERE.