Sean Rayhall broke through to claim a dominant victory in Saturday’s Prototype Challenge race at Virginia International Raceway.
The 8Star Motorsports driver led flag-to-flag in the 45-minute sprint race to collect the team’s first win in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Rayhall, who earned his first pole earlier today, stretched out an early lead over Frankie Montecalvo until the PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports driver spun at Turn 11 on the second lap.
While it gave the No. 09 RSR Racing Oreca FLM09 of Duncan Ende second, he was unable to challenge Rayhall, who stretched out a significant lead until the race’s only full-course caution for a wrecked IMSA Prototype Lites car.
It set up a seven-minute shootout to the end, which saw the 8Star driver bridge out a 5.5-second gap to the checkered flag over Ende.
The No. 38 Performance Tech entry of James French completed the podium in third, while Chris Miller (JDC-Miller Motorsports) and Martin Fuentes (Starworks Motorsport) rounded out the top-five.
It ended up being a double-win for 8Star as team owner Enzo Potolicchio picked up Prototype Lites L1 Masters Class honors in his No. 4 Elan DP02.
Mikhail Goikhberg, meanwhile, claimed outright L1 class honors, enough for him to lock up the championship with three rounds still to go.
Rayhall will hand over to co-driver Luis Diaz for Race 2 on Sunday, which gets underway Sunday at 10:45 a.m. ET.
RESULTS: Race 1 (PC)