Race Weekend Central

Jagger Jones Wins Mid-Ohio VP Challenge Race No. 1

LEXINGTON, Oh. — FASTMD Racing with Remstar’s Jagger Jones led flag-to-flag from pole to win the first IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge race of the weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Saturday afternoon (June 8). It is Jones’ third straight overall victory and comes in a tough week for him after the death of his grandfather, 1963 Indianapolis 500 winner Parnelli Jones.

See also
Parnelli Jones, 1963 Indianapolis 500 Champion, Dead at 90

“The whole team gave me a really fast car [today],” Jones told Frontstretch after the race. “It was up to me to get through traffic safely and keep it on the track. That’s what we were able to do in opening up a big gap and controlling the race.

Jones’ margin of victory was 7.567 seconds over US RaceTronics’ Steven Aghakhani, although the advantage was as high as 11 seconds at one point. Escuderia ABRO’s Miguel Villagomez was third, then Rick Ware Racing with Ave Motorsports’ Ryan Phinny. Ave Motorsports’ Seth Lucas was fifth.

Jones started from pole in the sole Duqueine M30-D08-Nissan in the field. He was eight-tenths of a second faster than Aghakhani in qualifying and was determined to run away at the start. Sure enough, he was able to open up a gap at the start.

The lead was steady around three seconds until Jones caught the rear of the field. Good form in traffic allowed the lead to increase to seven seconds. Meanwhile, Villagomez was able to get past for second when Aghakhani was trapped behind slower cars.

Aghakhani was faster than Villagomez and by the time they cleared the lapped traffic, he was able to run Villagomez back down. He was able to retake the position with 16 laps to go, but he could do nothing to prevent Jones from winning once again.

In GSX, Motorsports In Action’s Jesse Lazare started from pole in the sole McLaren Artura GT4 in the field. KohR Motorsports’ Luca Mars drove up to second in his Ford Mustang GT4 and gave chase.

However, there are some clerical things that drivers have to do during the pace laps before the green comes out. One of those things is to line up on the correct side of the road. Lazare lined up on the wrong side. As a result, he was given a drive-through penalty 10 minutes into the race.

Lazare’s penalty gave Mars the class lead with a five-second advantage over Thaze Competition’s Josh Green. Lazare ended up back in seventh, 18 seconds back.

The race was fairly clean, but with just under 20 minutes to go, Thaze Competition’s Eddie Killeen spun in the Keyhole after contact from BGB Motorsports’ Will Wachs. Both drivers were able to continue, but Wachs ended up with a flat right rear tire and suspension damage.

Half a lap later, the tire went down and sent Wachs off the track. Wachs was able to find a cut out in the wall and drove behind it, preventing the caution from coming out.

Mars had a pretty big lead, but it began to shrink in the final laps. Meanwhile, Lazare was pushing hard after his penalty. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough as Mars held on to take the win.

Mars’ margin of victory was 5.606 seconds over Green. Lazare was able to fight back to third in his McLaren, then Split Decision Motorsports’ Patrick Wilmot. Ruckus Racing’s Scott Blind was fifth.

IMSA VP Racing SportsCar Challenge: Mid-Ohio Race No. 1 Results

Race No. 2 for VP Racing SportsCar Challenge is scheduled to go green at 9:40 a.m. ET Sunday morning. The race will air live on Peacock.

About the author

Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.

Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.

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