Priaulx’s first visit to Mid-Ohio cut short

MID-OHIO brought mixed fortunes for Seb Priaulx on his first visit to the circuit last weekend.

The No. 22 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 GS of Seb Priaulx and Scott Maxwell at the Mid-Ohio 120. (Picture by IMSA, 28746043)
The No. 22 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 GS of Seb Priaulx and Scott Maxwell at the Mid-Ohio 120. (Picture by IMSA, 28746043)

He and teammate Scott Maxwell fought their way to fifth place in race one during a double-header weekend in the Michelin Pilot Challenge, but the Guernsey driver was unable to get in the car in race two as contact forced Maxwell into the barriers.

Three weeks on from recording a brilliant first podium finish of the 2020 season at Road Atlanta, Priaulx and the Multimatic Motorsports team were in high spirits as they headed north to Mid-Ohio for a pair of two-hour races in their Ford Mustang GT4.

While the fast and flowing 2.3 mile circuit was another one that the Guernseyman was tackling for the first time, it did not show in free practice on Friday as he recorded the second fastest time in the opening session, before Maxwell went third quickest in the second outing.

The Canadian took the reins for qualifying on Saturday morning and placed them fifth on the grid.

He was back behind the wheel for the start of the race and an impressive stint saw him move up to fourth place and stay there until the driver change at half-way.

When the pitstop cycle and a subsequent full-course yellow period was complete, Priaulx had settled back in the top-six battle.

The-19-year old was right on the tail of the lead group in the closing stages and brought the car home in a very creditable fifth.

After securing them fourth on the grid for race two, Maxwell once again led the charge from the start of the race.

Grabbing third on the opening lap, he stayed there for the opening 30 minutes before unfortunate contact from another driver ended their race in the barriers.

‘It’s been a bit of a mixed weekend overall,’ Priaulx said.

‘Multimatic Motorsports gave us a faultless car across the meeting and we gave it everything we had in every session, but unfortunately the car didn’t quite suit the circuit enough for us to challenge for top honours.

‘I pushed hard through to the finish in race one and fifth was a strong result.

‘We were confident we could build upon that in race two, but we lost out in a racing incident.

‘Road Atlanta is next and we have a great history there, so I’m excited to go back.”

Three meetings remain in the 2020 Michelin Pilot Challenge season, starting with a second visit of the season to Road Atlanta on 15-17 October.

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