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Prototype Challenge

McAleer Spins and Wins at VIR

Stevan McAleer scores second IPC win of season in dramatic fashion…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Stevan McAleer survived a spin while behind the safety car to rebound for victory in Saturday’s IMSA Prototype Challenge race at Virginia International Raceway.

The Robillard Racing driver, who started on pole, spun out of the lead with 32 minutes remaining in the 1 hour 45-minute race while in slippery conditions.

The spin handed the lead to Kyle Masson in the No. 19 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier JS P3 Nissan, but McAleer managed to get going again, losing only two spots in his Norma M30 Nissan.

When the green flag came back out with under 13 minutes remaining, McAleer quickly got past Nikko Reger in the No. 55 Forty7 Motorsports Norma and into second place, and then out-dragged Masson down the back straight to retake the lead.

A final full-course caution period bunched up the field behind McAleer, but he pulled away at the drop of the green flag to win by 1.439 seconds over Mike Skeen.

It was McAleer’s second IPC victory of the season and his first since Sebring in March.

Skeen led most of the race in the No. 23 Gilbert/Korthoff Motorsports Norma.

He was the last one to make his pit stop, which came with 42 minutes remaining, but he rejoined the race well behind the leaders.

Skeen benefited from late full-course cautions to get close, but came home second in what was just his second IMSA Prototype Challenge race of 2019.

While the top two finishers ran the entire race solo, Masson shared the No. 19 entry with Canadian driver Dean Baker.

They ended up sharing the final spot on the podium with a third-place showing.

No. 47 Forty7 Motorsports Norma co-drivers McCusker and Rodrigo Pflucker came into the race with a healthy lead in the overall LMP3 championship standings, and while their eighth-place finish was not spectacular, they maintained a healthy lead with just one race remaining.

McCusker and Pflucker now lead No. 4 ANSA Motorsports Ligier co-drivers Leo Lamelas and Neil Alberico, who fell out of the race early and finished 22nd, by 27 points, 150-123.

McAleer moved from fifth to third in the standings and is 29 points behind heading to the season-ending race at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on Friday, Oct. 11.

In the Bronze Cup class, Kris Wilson – making his first IPC start – came away with the victory in the No. 3 Jr III Racing Ligier JS P3.


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