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Prototype Challenge

Kasemets Wins Final IPC Race, Title at Road Atlanta

Tonis Kasemets takes win, championship title Friday at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta…

Photo: Rick Dole/IMSA

It was all but a certainty heading into the day, but the emotion of winning the final IMSA Prototype Challenge race and season championship came pouring out of Tonis Kasemets on Friday.

Moments after dominating the 90-minute race at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta to collect his fourth victory in five chances this season, Kasemets choked up several times trying to explain what it all meant to the 48-year-old native of Estonia now living in the United States.

Kasemets started from the pole position and led all but the first of 57 laps in the No. 60 Wulver Racing Ligier JS P320 Nissan.

Kasemets won by 6.554 seconds to cap a dream season that saw him win four times and finish second in the other race.

Still overcome with emotion, Kasemets was quick to credit the Wulver crew and all those who have supported him through the years.

After launching his career in Europe, he began competing in the U.S. in SCCA events in 1998, climbing the open-wheel ladder and eventually making six IndyCar starts in 2006 and a total of seven IMSA top-tier series starts from 2006-2021.

But he never received a full-season opportunity at the pinnacle of any motorsport series, which made him appreciate this year’s effort with Wulver all the more.

Memo Gidley and Alexander Koreiba finished second Friday in the No. 23 AL Autosport with JDC Duqueine D08 Nissan, the same position where they finished in the season standings. Gidley and Koreiba won the only race that Kasemets did not, at Mid-Ohio in May.

Koreiba ran second to Kasemets on a pair of late restarts from full-course cautions but couldn’t clear lapped traffic between the two cars to mount a charge.

Corey Lewis bumped and battled his way to a third-place finish in the No. 54 MLT Motorsports Ligier he shared with Jason Rabe.

This was the final IPC race as the LMP3 series transitions to the IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge in 2023, a doubleheader weekend sprint-race series where LMP3s and GT4 cars will race together.


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