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Mar 15, 2014 - 03:24 AM
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Goikhberg Pulls Off Sebring Sweep After Tight Victory
Posted by: newsla on Mar 15, 2014 - 03:23 AM
Sports Cars
Goikhberg Pulls Off Sebring Sweep After Tight Victory


Mikhail Goikhberg completed a sweep of the first two rounds of the 2014 Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda season by holding off hard-charging teenager Dalton Sargeant in Race Two on Friday, March 14 at Sebring International Raceway.

 

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Goikhberg, from North Vancouver, British Columbia, drove his No. 10 JDC Motorsports Lites 1 car to victory by just .545 of a second over Sargeant. Goikhberg had an easier time in Race One on Thursday, winning by 2.895 seconds.

"We're super-excited about how this weekend went," Goikhberg said. "Two wins. That's what we wanted to do. There's still a fair bit of work to do on the car. But were definitely excited to win this round with two wins and two poles, and I'm satisfied with everything."

Sargeant, 15, from Palm Beach, Fla., closed on Goikhberg on the final laps around the 17-turn, 3.74-mile circuit in his No. 4 8Star Motorsports √Član DP02 car after taking second from Craig Duerson with two laps remaining. But he couldn't get a nose of his Mazda-powered car under Goikhberg on the final lap, settling for his second podium finish of the weekend after placing third in Race One.

Former karting champion Sargeant started second but dropped to fifth for the second and final restart after caution with 13 laps remaining in the race.

"We lost some major track time in the beginning of the race, which really put me at a disadvantage on the last restart," Sargeant said. "When I finally got up to second, I didn't have enough time to work for first place."

Duerson, from Gulfport, Miss., ended up third in the No. 27 Performance Tech Motorsports entry after finishing second overall Thursday. But he was the Masters class winner for the second consecutive race in his first weekend in the series after winning the Platinum Masters championship last season in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama.

"I think I challenged the leaders a little more than yesterday, and Performance Tech put together a great car for me," Duerson said. "I'm getting used to the car, and everything went well."

Brian Alder was the top Lites 2 finisher for the second consecutive race, finishing 14th overall in the 25-car field in the No. 8 BAR1 Motorsports √Član DP02.

"The car was really good today," Alder said. "We put in laps three second quicker than we qualified. Unfortunately, most of our (Lites 2) competitors went out there on the first lap, and we never got a really good chance to race. But the Top 1 car was awesome today, and I'm really looking forward to Kansas."

The next event is Saturday, June 7 at Kansas Speedway. For live updates on all the action, follow @IMSALive on Twitter.

For more information about Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda, visit www.imsa.com, follow hashtag #CTPL @IMSA on Twitter or IMSA on Facebook.

POST-RACE QUOTES:

MIKHAIL GOIKHBERG (Winner, No. 10 JDC Motorsports): "We're super-excited about how this weekend went. Two wins. That's what we wanted to do. There's still a fair bit of work to do on the car. But were definitely excited to win this round with two wins and two poles, and I'm satisfied with everything."

DALTON SARGEANT (Second overall, No. 4 8Star Motorsports): "First off, I have to say thank you to everyone at 8Star Motorsports, especially (owner) Enzo (Potolicchio) and Ozz Negri for helping me throughout the weekend, giving me a really good car. The race was car. Quite difficult. We lost some major track time in the beginning of the race, which really put me at a disadvantage on the last restart. I had to start fifth. When I finally got up to second, I didn't have enough time to work for first place. Overall, I have to say congrats to the winner and thank you to everyone."

CRAIG DUERSON (Third overall, first Masters, No. 27 Performance Tech Motorsports): "I think I challenged the leaders a little more than yesterday, and Performance Tech put together a great car for me. I'm getting used to the car, and everything went well. I think there's a little questionable restarts."

JON BROWNSON (10th overall, third Masters, No. 34 Performance Tech Motorsports): "It was another great race at Sebring International Raceway. There was quite a bit of excitement going into Turn 1 on the first lap. But we managed to We lost some major track time in the beginning of the race, which really put me at a disadvantage on the last restart. I had to start fifth. When I finally got up to second, I didn't have enough time to work for first place. squeak through that and press on. So it was a good race."

BRIAN ALDER (14th overall, First Lites 2, No. 8 BAR1 Motorsports): "The car was really good today. We put in laps three second quicker than we qualified. Unfortunately, most of our (Lites 2) competitors went out there on the first lap, and we never got a really good chance to race. But the Top 1 car was awesome today, and I'm really looking forward to Kansas."

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