MLT Motorsports claimed victory in Friday’s IMSA Prototype Challenge race at Watkins Glen International.
Following a solid opening stint from driver Josh Sarchet that had the No. 54 Ligier JS P320 Nissan in second place, the MLT crew completed a quick enough pit stop to put co-driver Dakota Dickerson into the lead.
Dickerson held strong from there through changing conditions around the 3.4-mile, 11-turn road course and pulled away to a comfortable victory in the LMP3 development series.
The first win of the 2021 season for the No. 54 moved Sarchet and Dickerson to the brink of the lead in the season standings. They’re just 10 points behind Moritz Kranz, the pole sitter who finished second Friday in the No. 21 Muehlner Motorsports Duqueine D08 Nissan.
Kranz led Sarchet throughout the first stint of the one-hour, 45-minute race. Light rain began falling on portions of the track soon after Dickerson took the wheel of the No. 54 with about an hour remaining.
The Californian was able to keep Kranz in his mirrors on a pair of restarts, the final one in treacherous conditions with 26 minutes left, following a full-course caution necessitated when four cars slid off the back section of the course that took the brunt of heavier rain while the main straight remained mostly dry.
Dickerson crossed the finish 18.736 seconds ahead of Kranz.
It was the third career IPC win for Dickerson and first for Sarchet. The duo had finished second once and third twice in the opening three races this season.
Dan Goldburg and Rasmus Lindh finished third in the No. 6 Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier, just ahead of Ari Balogh and Garett Grist, who recovered from a pair of pit-lane drive-through penalties to take fourth in the No. 33 Jr III Racing Ligier.
Kranz was the top finisher among Bronze-rated entries.
Francesco Melandri and Anthony Lazzaro (No. 24 Sean Creech Motorsport Ligier JS P3 Nissan) won the LMP3-2 class for previous-generation LMP3s and also claimed second place in Bronze Cup behind Kranz.
RESULTS: Watkins Glen