Rayhall Takes Checkered After Rough Start
Masters' Contender Brownson Lands on the Podium
Lexington, Ohio, (June 16, 2013) - An early incident between the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda points leaders made for an interesting Race Two at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Tied for the lead coming into round six of the 2013 season, Sean Rayhall and Ryan Booth made contact in the first turn and spun after the apex.
Rayhall dropped back as far as 13th, but competitors quickly saw the No. 14 L1 Élan DP02 2.0L Mazda in their rear view mirrors, gleaming like a diamond in the rough.
"I thought Sean (Rayhall) and Ryan (Booth) were both done until I saw (Rayhall) in my mirrors," said second-place finisher Mikhail Goikhberg. "I tried to hold off as much as I could but he's a good racer and we had a 45-minute race without any yellows."
By lap two, Rayhall was already back to work. The Comprent Motor Sports driver moved up three positions and by his fifth lap was fifth overall. Rayhall settled for third position for only four laps before moving up to take the second spot on Lap 12.
"Today was very eventful for us and the Robert Talbott 14 car," Rayhall said. "It was an eventful start. Hats off to everyone in the field because even though I was making aggressive moves coming back through they were gentlemen and respected my line."
Performance Tech's Daniel Goldburg managed to hold onto the lead for 18 laps after the initial incident, but Rayhall overtook the lead on Lap 19 after seven laps of pressure. The win marks Rayhall's third of the 2013 season.
JDC Motorsports' Mikhail Goikhberg avoided the traffic at the start and held onto a second-place spot before dropping to third in the middle of the race as Rayhall fought to pass Goldburg. On Lap 18 Goldburg went off the track at Turn 4 and Goikhberg capitalized on the opportunity to regain second place.
On the heels of youngsters Rayhall and Goikhberg was Masters contender Jon Brownson in the bright red No. 34 car. Brownson proved youth doesn't always trump experience in the racing world. The Eurosport Racing driver moves to fifth overall in the standings with the podium finish.
"As a master if you add up their ages I've still got them both beat," Brownson chuckled. "It was a great race and it's an honor to be here with such fine competition."
Pending any post-race action, Rayhall jumps to first overall followed by Goikhberg in second and Booth in third in overall points standings.
8Star Motorsports produced a top-five driver in Christian Potolicchio with his highest finish of the season - fourth on the 13-turn, 2.258-mile sweeping course. His highest finish previously was sixth place.
In the Lites 2 category, Brian Alder with BAR1 Motorsports finished eighth overall, up five spots from his finish in Race One. The Ohio-native was elated with his performance and proved his endurance at the end of the racing, passing several L1 cars.
"I ran the best race I could," Alder said. "I didn't make any mistakes and passed quite a few L1 cars. We had some good racing out there and I'm over the moon with eighth overall."
Alder broke his own record set the day before by nearly a second, with a time of 1:23.737, turned on his 25th lap around the 13-turn circuit.
The Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda Series returns to competition July 19-21 for the Grand Prix of Mosport at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The full complement of IMSA Development Series will be racing at the storied track with Prototype Lites, IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama and the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Michelin all on track. Live updates will be posted on Twitter at @IMSALites and on Facebook.
Jon Brownson grinned ear-to-ear with a medal around his neck and trophy in hand after Race One at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The Eurosport Racing driver finished third overall and first in the Masters Championship to take a commanding lead in the points standings.
"That was an extraordinary race to go 45 minutes without a full course caution and to see Sean (Rayhall) come back up through the field like that," Brownson said.
Lamont Harris with Comprent Motor Sports finished second in the Masters Championship after climbing from a ninth-position starting spot to fifth overall.
"After ending up in the gravel in Race One I'm excited to finish the way we did considering the car and the conditions," Harris said.
Gerry Kraut with JDC Motorsports finished on the heels of Harris for his fourth podium finish of the year.