Colin Thompson claimed his first win in IMSA Prototype Challenge presented by Mazda competition and the first for the Norma M30 in North America, in Race 1 of the weekend Friday at Watkins Glen.
The Kelly-Moss Road and Race driver held off Kenton Koch in the P1 Motorsports Ligier JS P3 by 0.469 seconds to secure the victory and help close the gap to Andreas Gutierrez in the championship.
Thompson entered the weekend in second place, 18 points behind after the first four races.
Koch, a former IMSA Prototype Lites champion, started in second and kept a steady push on Thompson throughout the entire race, but he had to hold off the Performance Tech Motorsports Ligier of Gutierrez in a tight battle throughout the 45-minute race.
Gutierrez, the points leader, settled for third 1.281 seconds behind Thompson at the line.
In LMP3 Masters competition, for drivers age 45-years or older, it was Paul Fix who took the top step of the podium for his first series victory, as well as the first class win for the Ave-Riley AR2.
In the MPC class, Kris Wright capitalized on misfortune for Kyle Masson, who was involved in an on-track skirmish which took him all the way back to 21st on the ninth lap, ultimately giving the top spot and the win to Kris Wright in the No. 7 Elan DP02 for JDC Motorsports.
It was Wright’s first win in series competition and the first win of the season for the team. Wright was joined on the podium by his teammate Tazio Ottis and Masson, who fought his way back to third by the end of the race.
Don Yount won the MPC Masters class for BAR1 Motorsports.
Extreme Speed Motorsports driver Naj Husain’s crash in Turn 11 was the lone major incident of the race, prompting a full-course caution on the sixth lap.
Race 2 of the weekend is scheduled for 9:20 a.m. ET on Saturday with coverage available at IMSA.tv. Delayed television coverage will be provided on July 13 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 2.
RESULTS: Race 1