Al Autosport with JDC MotorSportsleaves IMSA Prototype Challenge Round 2 with its first win of the 2022 season.
After a taste of the podium at IMSA Prototype Challenge Round 1 the No. 23 Duqueine D08 maintained its momentum at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course topping the charts in every session. Drivers Memo Gidley and Alexander Koreiba opted for a more aggressive setup for the one-hour and 30-minute event, transforming their prototype into a race-winning rocket ship.
“This was a great day for the entire Al Autosport with JDC MotorSports operation,” Team Principal Alex Damalas said. “The team provided a great car and the drivers went out and executed. This is just the start for us, I’m excited for what the rest of the season will bring.”
The weekend kicked off on a high note for Gidley as he earned his second Pole Award of the season with a lap time of 1:17.260. He rolled out to take the green flag and made quick work of building a gap to the field, at points gaining over forty-five seconds on the competition. After an uneventful but successful 40-minutes, he popped into the pits to pass the reins to Alexander Koreiba.
“This race went great thanks to Al Autosport with JDC JDC MotorSports,” Gidley said. “There are weekends where everything goes your way, the car is great and you get a little bit of luck. For me, this is my second race with the team and I’m working on a full-time ride for the first time in 10 years. It’s nice to settle in with this great group of people. Alexander was on fire out there, as a co-driver, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
The No. 23 entered the track in Koreiba’s hands; he immediately picked up where Gidley left off. Increased track temperatures required him to focus more on managing his tires but did little to affect his pace as he maintained at minimum a 45-second lead. He crossed the finish line in first place, the first win for he and Gidley as co-drivers as well as the first win for Al Autosport.
“First of all I have to thank Jesus for the talent he’s given me to make something like this happen,” Koreiba said. “I also have to thank Alex Damalas for what he’s done, we wouldn’t be here without him. Our pit stop must have been extremely good because we entered with about a ten-second lead and when I exited, they told me we had over a minute. This was a little bit of redemption from Daytona, this feels great. We went for a pretty aggressive setup today to get speed out of it which made it harder to drive but it definitely paid off in the end. This feeling is indescribable”
The No. 23 now enjoys a 6-week break to regroup and prepare for the summer session. IMSA Prototype Challenge Round 3 will take place July 3-5 at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park for the series’ first expedition north of the border since pre-pandemic. To stay up to date on all things Al Autosport with JDC JDC MotorSports follow along on Instagram, @alautosport.
The No. 5 Mustang Sampling Cadillac DPi-V.R, co-driven by Tristan Vautier and Richard Westbrook finished fifth after leading Laps 20 through 45 rain-soaked laps.
Richard Westbrook: “We’re obviously disappointed with the result. We showed again that we can fly at the front and made some great calls, particularly tire-wise, and had good pace in the wet. The car was awesome. The yellows didn’t help us. We had a nice, healthy lead and it wasn’t to be. Tristan did a great job keeping everyone behind him, but then we got stuck in the pit stop and went down to fifth. Tough day, but it was good for bits and pieces.”
Tristan Vautier: “We were in the fight for a podium with Renger (van der Zande) and it was a tough battle. Eventually, he got a run on me when I got behind a GT entering the Kink. We raced really hard, knowing it was for a podium spot. He squeezed me quite hard on the inside to brake on the damp side of the track and we both broke really late and that got us off-line and allowed the 02 to go through. No regrets. The team worked really hard and had a great strategy. We gave it a fight; it just didn’t play out our way today. It was good to be in the lead in mixed conditions. We showed as a team that we could be in the lead and manage it. It was good to be at the front, but only the result counts. We have to move forward to the next one because this one hurts.”