Elkhart Lake, Wisc. (8 August 2023) - Jr III (“Junior-Three”) Racing came from one lap down to score a fourth place finish in the No. 30 Airbnb Ligier. The No. 29 Wing S2 Cyber team did not have such luck, as an off track excursion took the team out of the race with just 30 minutes to go.
The No. 30 Airbnb Ligier was quick out of the gate, setting the fast lap in both practice sessions on Friday set by Garett Grist. Grist’s co-driver, Ari Balogh, qualified for the duo landing the highest qualifying position for Balogh at Road America with a sixth place spot on the grid.
Balogh took the first 45 minute stint for the No. 30 Airbnb Ligier, making it up to fifth when a drive through penalty was applied due to an incident with the No. 85 LMP3. Balogh was able to make it through most of the GT traffic before handing the Ligier to Grist on lap 32.
Grist kept his head down and started passing his LMP3 competitors. With just an hour remaining, the Canadian made his way to sit fourth. Grist continued to close the gap to third place, but ran out of laps as he came just short of the podium.
“Unfortunately we had a rough start and we needed a caution to get back into it and that caution never came,” said Grist. “We had rapid pace, just like we have all year, but we were a minute and half behind the leader. We were able to get through traffic well and had great pit stops. It was a lonely day out there, I think I only saw one other P3 car in my stint. There was just not much we could have done, we were just hoping for a caution that never came.”
Bijoy Garg and Colin Noble piloted the No. 29 Wing S2 Cyber Ligier for its debut in the IMSA WeatherTech Series. Both young drivers made their IMSA WeatherTech debut over the weekend. The duo took Friday to become familiar with the recently repaved Road America and the team, before Garg qualified Saturday afternoon. In his first ever IMSA WeatherTech qualifying run, Garg ran a fast lap of 1:58.860 seconds placing the No. 29 Ligier on the front row.
Garg was able to maintain his second place starting position throughout his 24 lap stint behind the wheel of the No. 29 Wing S2 Cyber Ligier. Noble took the wheel and maintained the second place position. Unfortunately, an hour and 40 minutes into the race, Noble caught a bit of understeer that sent him off track forcing a replacement of the Ligier nose. The Scottish driver remained on track for several more laps before the No. 23 Wing S2 Cyber team decided it was best to retire the Ligier for the remainder of the race with just 30 minutes remaining.
“Both teams did really well this weekend,” said Billy Glavin, owner of Jr III Racing. “This was our first time having two cars in the same series and it was a great learning experience. I thought that Bijoy and Colin both did really well in their first WeatherTech race. Both teams just caught a bit of bad luck and hopefully will rebound at Indy in September.”
The Jr III Racing squad will be back in IMSA WeatherTech competition September 15-17 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with both the No. 29 Wing S2 Cyber and No. 30 Airbnb Ligiers.