After showing promise in his last race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Sean Rayhall delivered the first step to a winning performance after dominating the first 45-minute segment Saturday night at Kansas Speedway.
This was the first of two 45-minute segments combining the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Prototype Challenge class and the IMSA Cooper Tires Prototype Lites division, with the second segment occurring at 10:15 p.m. CT and 11:15 p.m. ET this evening.
Rayhall will hand over the No. 25 8Star Motorsports Oreca FLM09 to Luis Diaz for the second segment.
Rayhall started third behind polesitter Chris Cumming’s No. 08 RSR Racing entry and Frankie Montecalvo in the No. 52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports car, but made it into the lead by the end of the first lap. Cumming and RSR teammate Duncan Ende, in the sister No. 09, fell to eighth and ninth respectively and needed to perform a methodical comeback through the field.
While Rayhall was able to pull away despite two caution flags, both for stalled Prototype Lites cars on track, the battle behind him was for second.
Cumming recovered to P2 in the No. 08, setting lap times on par with Rayhall in the 1:12 range. A fast start moved David Ostella in the No. 38 Performance Tech Motorsports entry up to second, although Cumming got past his Canadian countryman off the second restart for P2 on Lap 19. Ostella came to the line in third.
Ende in fourth and Jon Bennett in fifth in the No. 54 CORE autosport entry completed the top five.
Other driver changes set to occur ahead of the second 45-minute segment for the top five will be Alex Tagliani (No. 08) and Bruno Junqueira (No. 09) stepping into the RSR entries, with Colin Braun back behind the wheel of CORE’s No. 54. Ostella will be one of two drivers (BAR1 Motorsports’ Doug Bielefeld) racing both segments.
Four different drivers led the Prototype Lites race, with the Round 3 victory there going to Tony Bullock in the No. 12 One Motorsports Élan DP-02. Bullock made a late pass on JDC Motorsports’ Mikhail Goikhberg for the win. Polesitter Craig Duerson of Performance Tech Motorsports also led and finished third.
RESULTS (PC): First Segment
RESULTS (Prototype Lites): Round 3