Sebastian Priaulx has secured one of the biggest race wins of his blossoming career so far with victory on his US racing debut in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge at Road Atlanta on Friday (11 October).
Following a record-breaking maiden season in the British GT Championship with Multimatic Motorsports, the Canadian team chose Priaulx to join their line-up for the final round of the 2019 IMPC season, the ‘Fox Factory 120’.
The Guernseyman was teamed up with NASCAR Xfinity Series race-winner Austin Cindric for the race, which took place as part of the prestigious Petit Le Mans event. The duo shared a Ford Mustang GT4, the same machinery used by Priaulx in his British GT campaign.
Despite it being his first time at the circuit, Priaulx was immediately on the front-running pace. After finishing in the top four in all three practice sessions, the #15 crew starred in qualifying with the second fastest time overall, just a tenth of a second off pole position.
Priaulx, who was recently named a BRDC Rising Star, started the two-hour race behind the wheel and put in a superb stint. Battling with the race leader in the early running, he then fought back through the pack after a longer pitstop than his rivals due to the team’s tyre strategy.
In seventh position at the end of the first hour, the 18 year old gained some crucial ground back before handing the car over to Cindric. The American racer then showed his talent to storm into the race lead and hold it to the finish, before enjoying memorable scenes in victory lane with Priaulx.
Sebastian Priaulx: “This is truly a fairytale ending to what has been the best season of my career so far. Heading into the meeting we sensed that we could be quick, but to come in to a new series on a new circuit with a new team-mate and win the race is incredible.
“I’d never seen the circuit before the meeting, but I spent time on the simulator before, got advice from my Dad, Austin [Cindric] and the team, so I was able to hit the ground running. Myself and Austin gelled well together and after qualifying second, we had great confidence for the race.
“I really enjoyed my stint, battling with the race leader and then fighting back through the pack after our first pitstop. I gave the car to Austin in a good position and he was superb, getting into the lead and bringing the car home to victory lane.
“Thank you so much to Multimatic Motorsports and Ford Performance for giving me this opportunity. It was a great team effort throughout the meeting and I loved every second. To win my final race of the year is amazing and fills me with confidence heading into 2020.”
Photo from LAT Images.