Double trouble in Michelin Pilot Challenge at Mid-Ohio

September 29, 2020
Michelin Pilot Challenge at Mid-Ohio

The IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series offered up a double helping of racing at Mid-Ohio with two-hour events on both Saturday and Sunday. Unfortunately for the #22 Multimatic Mustang squad, the team was unable to improve on its podium showing last time out at Road Atlanta.  Maxwell qualified a hard fought fifth for the Saturday even and enjoyed a strong, trouble-free opening stint, before Seb Priaulx took over for an equally trouble-free run to finish exactly where the car had started the race.
“Multimatic provided us with a perfect car across the meeting and we gave it everything we had in every session,” said Priaulx. “Unfortunately it 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 it didn’t quite work out that way.”

From a strong fourth qualifying spot, Maxwell nailed the second race start and got the jump on the #4 Mercedes, which then chased him hard for over half an hour. Scott had an answer to the AMG’s every move and appeared to be capable of maintaining third place up to the handover to Priaulx, but after 22 laps of intense fighting, it all ended when the Mercedes driver sent it down the inside of the Mustang in a spot nobody would have expected, including Maxwell. The cars contacted hard side to side and the Mustang ended up in the tyre wall and the Mercedes limped back to the pits to retire.
“We knew we didn’t have the pace to run at the front but I made a good start and had to just hang on!” said Maxwell. “There was no way we could have raced that close for two hours and I was thinking we would be on for a Top 5 finish and then I was in the wall. I wasn’t expecting him to make the move where he did and we made contact. Simple as that. I feel bad for Seb as he didn’t get to drive but we’ll look forward to Road Atlanta, which suits the Mustang a lot better.”

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