After dominating the first race of the weekend in wet-but-drying conditions, Kenton Koch mastered the fully-dry circuit to claim the weekend weep of the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda series weekend at Trois-Rivieres.
Kyle Masson started on point by virtue of his fastest race lap in Race 1 in his Mazda Prototype Challenge-class No. 18 Elan DP0 for Performance Tech Motorsports, with the No. 3 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier JS P3 of Naj Husain alongside.
Husain quickly overtook the slower car of Masson on Lap 1, followed by Koch in the No. 8 P1 Motorsports Ligier who leapfrogged both Husain and Masson to take over the top spot in his P1 Motorsports Ligier.
And if that weren’t enough, LMP3 points leader Colin Thompson hurdled into third in his No. 14 Kelly-Moss Road and Race Norma M30 just before a quick full-course caution for a spun car on course.
Coming into this weekend, Thompson needed only to defend his lead in the points with conservative racing. Koch’s late start this yer left him with much work to do if he was ever going to catch Thompson in the season-long points battle. None of this seemed to phase Koch however, as he began a blistering stint after the Lap 5 restart.
At one point, Koh had built up a lead on Thompson of nearly 28 seconds before a full-course caution slowed the field on Lap 37. The race ended under yellow and Koch took his second win of the weekend and fifth of the season. Thompson held on for second place, keeping a firm grasp on his championship points lead in LMP3.
Behind leaders Koch and Thompson, a three-car locomotive formed on the Lap 5 restart with Husain leading the way ahead of series newcomer Stefan Rzadzinski in the No. 17 P1 Motorsports Ligier, followed by Masson in the MPC chassis.
Husain held off Rzadzinski for nearly 20 laps, as the two battled for position in tight formation, while Masson watched from a few car lengths behind. Rzadzinski made his move on Lap 24, getting a good run from Turn 5 and winning the drag race with Husain into Turn 6.
Rzadzinski held on to third place for the remainder of the race to claim his second LMP3 podium finish of the weekend in his first weekend with the series.
Husain’s efforts were good enough to acquire his second LMP3 Masters win of the weekend and fifth overall. Another series newcomer, Garrett Kletjian, took his second-consecutive second-place finish in the No. 47 Norma M30 for Forty 7 Motorsports despite a late race spin, causing the final yellow flag. He grabbed an LMP3 Masters class victory in his debut at Lime Rock Park just a few weeks ago.
In MPC competition, Masson played a conservative hand this afternoon after finding trouble in the morning. With a good grip on the MPC points lead, he had little to gain by engaging the faster LPM3 cars battling around him. The safer wager returned another class win and a fourth-place finish overall. Masson has now tallied nine top spots in class this season.
Holding steady with another second-place finish in MPC this weekend was Kris Wright in the No. 7 of JDC Motorsports. Wright has been in a tight battle with his JDC Motorsports teammate Tazio Ottis all season and this weekend’s results have moved him into second in the MPC championship.
Ottis had to overcome adversity after a hard crash in Saturday’s qualifying round caused significant damage to his No. 72 MPC entry. His JDC Motorsports crew put in an incredible effort and got his car to the grid for Sunday’s Race 1. Unfortunately, Ottis was caught up in a Lap 1, Turn 1 incident that disabled his car once again.
Undeterred, JDC went back to work and got Ottis to the grid in quick fashion yet again for Race 2. Starting 14th in the field, Ottis steadily climbed the charts to a seventh-place result overall and the third spot on the MPC podium, a sweet reward to an otherwise disappointing weekend.
Stuart Rettie’s ODU Motorsports team is manned by students from Old Dominion University aspiring to have a career in motorsport. Having a young crew that is still learning hasn’t hampered Rettie’s efforts in the MPC Masters division. In fact, he entered Sunday afternoon only one point out of the lead in class points after a second-place finish in Race 1.
Rettie and his ODU students were rewarded in Race 2, as the No. 21 crossed the line first in class, securing his second win of the season and the points lead in MPC Masters with only two races remaining.
Robert Masson, Kyle’s father, climbed from 15th to ninth overall in his No. 11 for Performance Tech Motorsports to take the second step on the MPC Masters podium. He was followed by teammate Stephen Dawes, who collected his first MPC Masters podium of the season.
A delayed broadcast of the races will be shown on FS2 Thursday, September 14th at 8 p.m. ET. The broadcast will also be available on YouTube 24 hours after it airs on television.
Up next for the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda series are Rounds 12 and 13, which will take place October 4 – 7 at Road Atlanta as part of the Motul Petit Le Mans weekend.