Francis Jr. Takes Third PWC Win

Two other MX-5 drivers podium in three rounds of Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Ernie Francis Jr., of Davie, Fla., scored his third Pirelli World Challenge TC win of the 2015 season in Round 10 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, part of the OPTIMA Batteries Grand Prix presented by MOMO.

From the rolling start, polesitter Corey Fergus in a Porsche Cayman took the lead over second-on-the-grid Vesko Kozarov’s Nissan Altima. Francis Jr., in the No. 98 Breathless Racing/Time4Learning Mazda MX-5, started sixth.

Francis Jr. moved into into fifth by lap four as a battle raged in front. On lap 9, Kozarov and Altenburg, who had both moved past Fergus, made contact while battling through Turn 5, allowing Fergus to jump into the lead ahead of Altenburg and Francis Jr.

By lap 14, Francis Jr. began pressuring Altenburg for second, while Fergus built a 1.176 second lead over the Altenburg. Then on lap 18, Francis Jr. and Altenburg went side-by-side through Turn 10, with Francis Jr. completing the pass for second. Altenburg slowed slightly battling with Francis Jr. and John Weisberg, of Webster, N.Y., in the No. 50 REDCOM Laboratories/Red Line Berg Racing Mazda MX-5, passed and moved up to pressure Francis Jr. Weisberg then moved up to second with a great pass through the Carousel, only to be repassed by by Francis Jr.

Francis Jr. then set his sights on catching Fergus and, through lap traffic on lap 23, passed the driver of the 00 machine for the lead. He held that lead to the checkered flag, with Weisberg coming in third.

Francis Jr. won the StopTech Brake Late Finish First Award, along with the Cadillac ATS-V Move of the Race Award for his pass on Fergus for the lead. Weisberg was awarded the Invisible Glass Clean Pass of the Race Award for his pass on Francis Jr. through the Carousel on lap 18.

Francis Jr. finished second in Round 11, with Weisberg again third. Adam Poland scored a podium in Round 12 in his No. 33 EASTEX Motorsports/RPM Motorsports Mazda MX-5. Poland sits second in the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car points after Round 12, with three rounds each remaining at Miller Motorsports Park on Aug. 21-23 and at the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Sept. 11-13.

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