IMSA Prototype Challenge

IPC : The Ligier JS P320 scores a double podium at Mid-Ohio

14 – 16 May – Six Ligier JS P320s and a Ligier JS P3 were on the grid for the IMSA Prototype Challenge, which returned to the Mid-Ohio circuit in the middle of May.  The #3 Jr III Racing Ligier JS P320 finished second and set the fastest lap in the race followed in third place by #54 run by MLT Motorsports. The #24 JS P3 entered by Sean Creech Motorsport clinched victory in its category.

Friday 14th May – The Ligier JS P320 set the two quickest times in the first free practice session led by #54 in the MLT Motorsports colours driven by Dakota Dickerson and Josh Sarchet with a best lap in 1m 17.653s. It was the same story the following day with Ligier JS P320s filling the first four places in the second free practice.  Topping the time sheets was #91 entered by Riley Motorsports for Jim Cox and Dylan Murry who pulverised the times with a fastest lap in 1m 16.851s.

The start of the 1h45m race was given on Sunday morning. The #3 Jr III Racing Ligier JS P320, in seventh place on the grid, put on a stunning performance.  In the last 10 minutes Mike Skeen's final charge helped #3 to move up the classification and it got within a sniff of victory. Finally, the car finished in second place and set the fastest lap in the race in 1m17.179s, a time that was quicker than the pole position! It was a very promising result for the drivers, Ted Olson and Mike Skeen, who were having their first race in the IMSA Prototype Challenge as well as their first taste of the French constructor's Ligier JS P320.

The #54 MLT Motorsports  Ligier JS P320 finished where it qualified: namely in third place despite a penalty that temporarily dropped it back to sixth.

After starting fourth, the #7 Ligier JS P320 run by VOLT Racing with Archangel in the hands of Alan Brynjolfsson and Trent Hindman closed in on the leading trio. This triggered a closely-fought scrap with #3 entered by Jr III Racing, which ended when #7 suffered a puncture. It took the chequered flag in seventh position.

From fifth on the grid the #6 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier JS P320 driven by Dan Goldburg and Rasmus Lindh was soon locked in battle with the front-runners. Installed in second place it continued to eat into the gap separating it from the leader.  But a mechanical problem dashed the team's hopes of victory and a podium finish with only four minutes to go to the chequered flag when it slowed and stopped at its pit. It was the end of the race for Performance Tech Motorsports.

In the old-generation LMP3 category, the #24 JS P3 run by Sean Creech Motorsport for Francesco Melandri and Lance Willsey dominated throughout the weekend from free practice to the race, in which it triumphed in the P3-2 category.

The fourth round of the IMSA Prototype Challenge will take place on 1 - 2 July on the Watkins Glen International circuit.

To consult the full results, CLICK HERE.

Photo credit: Sam Cobb