Seb Priaulx and Scott Maxwell are on the move in the #22 Multimatic Mustang after a challenging start to the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season. The Ford Mustang GT4 received a Balance of Performance weight break ahead of the fourth round at Virginia International Raceway, which moved the #22 machine closer to the podium fight.
Motorsports is all about winning though and the Multimatic Motorsports team knew that the only chance of winning at VIR would require a gamble on strategy.
Maxwell qualified the car in a creditable fifth place and made a great start to the two-hour race. He pitted earlier than planned to take advantage of a yellow just after the 40-minute mark and switched over to Priaulx.
The team then rolled the dice and elected to leave Priaulx out on track to build up a strong 45-second lead. In a race with numerous full course yellows, all the team needed was one more yellow and the strategy gamble would strike gold.
Gambling comes with risks though and when Priaulx came in for a “splash and dash” he exited the pits in first place, just ahead of the eventual winner, Bill Auberlen. Seb was unable to defend hard enough as he was on his out lap but he managed to keep the sister Turner Motorsport BMW behind him to hold onto second place. He held off a spirited challenge for a long time, despite being on old rubber by this point as his last stop was just for fuel, but with just 11 minutes left on the clock he ran wide at Turn 1 after running out of grip, which dropped him to fourth place for the chequered flag.
“It was tough out there today!” said Priaulx. “I had to fight really hard to stop anyone getting past me. Unfortunately we just didn’t have the grip left to fight for the podium at the end but fourth place almost feels like a podium at the moment.”