ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – official release — IMSA photo — Andrew Novich clinched his first career Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda victory in Round 10 at Road America in Sunday morning’s in a 45-minute sprint.
Novich, driving the No. 61 Comprent Motor Sports car, started on pole in both Saturday and Sunday’s races, but the California native fell back to finish seventh in round nine. Novich’s previous best finish was second in round six in June at Watkins Glen Int’l.
“Today went more according to plan,” Novich said. “Starting on pole for the second time allowed us a chance to hit the restart button from yesterday. I got passed at the start by Hayden (Duerson) and Christian (Potolicchio), but Christian fell back as we settled into the race. Hayden and I dueled for about half an hour, and it was a tight battle. His car started to fall off later in the race just as my car was really coming into its own. I was able to pass him, which was great.
“I was having an issue with the brake pads falling away from the brake disc, which meant I had a long pedal when I went to the brakes. After Hayden crashed out, I was alone at the front for a while. There was a caution near the end of the race, which bunched everyone up, but I was lucky to get a great restart.
“We’ve been chasing a win all year, and we’ve been so close before. To finally get one is so exciting. I can’t thank Comprent Motor Sports enough for giving me a fast car today that was capable of winning.”
Following Novich to the checkered flag were Matt McMurry of JDC Motorsports, who started 10th, and Christian Potolicchio of 8Star Motorsports, who started and finished third.
The race was McMurry’s career best finish in the series and the 16-year-old’s first podium. It was Potolicchio’s first double podium this year.
Championship points leader Mikhail Goikhberg spun in the first part of the race and fell to finish 19th and one lap down. Championship contender Robert Alon was running up front until he was involved in an incident in Turn 1 that caused a caution flag to fly. Alon ultimately finished 15th in class.
John Falb, driving for ONE Motorsports, collected his second L1 Masters win in only his first season of Prototype Lites competition. Falb started fifth in the class. Brian Alder captured his seventh win in the Lites 2 category Sunday morning, after starting behind pole sitter Todd Slusher.