There’s no low gear for Tonis Kasemets inside a race car, and he showed it again Sunday when he dominated the IMSA Prototype Challenge race at Virginia International Raceway.
Kasemets led wire-to-wire in the No. 60 Wulver Racing Ligier JS P320 Nissan to collect his third win in four outings this year for the series comprised of LMP3 cars.
The victory also increased Kasemets’ points lead to 140 with only the season finale on Sept. 30 at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta remaining.
That he did. Starting from the pole position earned in Saturday qualifying, Kasemets opened a six-second lead a third of the way into the 90-minute race on the 3.27-mile VIR road course.
Yet he still kept pushing, turning the first race lap under 1 minute, 43 seconds on Lap 19.
After the field bunched following the only full-course caution of the race, Kasemets burst away on the restart with 16 minutes to go, and after again establishing a comfortable lead, proceeded to turn his two fastest laps of the race on the 44th and 45th times around.
He took the checkered flag a lap later, 9.56 seconds ahead of Alex Koreiba in the No. 23 AL Autosport with JDC MotorSports Duqueine D08 Nissan.
Kasemets gave full credit to the Wulver crew that repaired the Ligier after he slid off track and into a tire barrier during practice on Friday.
Koreiba, who shared the No. 23 Duqueine with Memo Gidley, was handicapped on the final restart by six lapped cars between him and Kasemets.
Battling for position with Corey Lewis (No. 54 MLT Motorsports Ligier) heading into Turn 1 on the restart, the two cars touched, with Lewis suffering a cut right-rear tire.
Despite the 140-point deficit with just one race remaining, Gidley said there’s no give up in the No. 23 team.