Goikhberg Drives One Step Closer To Title with Victory at Road America

 Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda championship leader Mikhail Goikhberg drove one step closer to his quest to win the 2014 championship Saturday morning at Road America. Goikhberg, from North Vancouver, British Columbia, mastered his way around the historic 14-turn, 4.048-mile circuit in the No. 10 JDC Motorsports car, claiming his sixth win in nine races this season.

The victory in the 30-minute sprint came amid multiple incidents and two full-course caution periods.

“The race had a lot of yellow flags today,” Goikhberg said. “I was afraid we might not finish and had championship points on my mind. We had the pace to pass the cars in front of us without putting ourselves at high risk. It’s great to get a win, and I’m looking forward to finishing the weekend on a high note tomorrow in Race 2.” 

Lites 2 podium finishers (from left): Brian Alder, Todd Slusher, Ludovico Manfredi

8Star Motorsports‘ Christian Potolicchio and Performance Tech Motorsports‘ Hayden Duerson followed Goikhberg to the checkered in second and third place, respectively, in the Lites 1 class. 

“Today’s race was amazing. I started fourth but kept pace with the leaders and managed to climb to second,” added Potolicchio. “I’m really happy with 8Star Motorsports because we had a big crash our first day here at Road America. They repaired the car and helped me get out there to get back on track to earn this podium finish.” 

Just 2.823 seconds separated the top three overall finishers in the frantic race. 

Todd Slusher, from Las Vegas, stood atop the Lites 2 podium after earning his first career victory in the No. 62 ONE Motorsports entry.

 “We had to navigate around a lot of debris and cars going off track, but once we got through it I said, ‘OK, now it’s time to go driving,'” Slusher said. “I just kept my head down, and between the various yellows I managed to get some decent lap times. Not great but good enough to keep me in the lead. I’m happy. It’s my first win this season, so it’s pretty cool.” 

Lites 2 championship leader Brian Alder finished second in the class in his No. 22 BAR1 Motorsports entry, followed by Ludovico Manfredi of ANSA Motorsports.

 “That was a very eventful, hectic race,” stated Manfredi. “There were several full-course yellows and a lot of debris on the track. On the last lap, I started losing my brakes, and in the Canada Corner I lost them completely and had a spin. That lost me second position on the final lap.”

Masters podium finishers (from left): Don Yount, Craig Duerson, Joel Janco

Craig Duerson of Performance Tech Motorsports stood on the top of the podium in the Masters category (drivers age 40 and older), followed by Don Yount of Yount Motorsports and Joel Jancoof Performance Tech Motorsports. It was the first podium finish of the season for Janco.

“We had a mechanical issue yesterday in qualifying, which meant that we had to start last in 25th,” commented Yount. “Starting that far back, it feels great to end on the podium. There was a lot of carnage out there, but I had a great time. For tomorrow, it’s important to remember slow in, fast out through each of the corners.” 

The green flag for Round 10 at Road America will drop at 8:05 a.m. (CT). For live updates on the 45-minute sprint, follow@IMSALive on Twitter. For live timing, visit scoring.imsa.com/prototype-lites.

Adam Sinclair