Alton, Va. (28 August 2022) - Racing close to home, Charlotte-based Jr III Racing emerged from Round 4 of the IMSA Prototype Challenge (IPC) at Virginia International Raceway with a top five finish for the No. 30 Airbnb Ligier JS 320 with Ari Balogh on Sunday. The No. 3 Jr III Racing sister entry of Terry Olson and Courtney Crone finished twelfth with excellent recovery strategy and communication.
The No. 30 Airbnb Ligier had one of the best race performances for the solo-driver entry, starting from eighth and racing to a fifth place finish to earn second in the Bronze Cup after rebounding from a brief off track excursion early in the race.
“I think today was one of Ari’s best races,” said team owner, Billy Glavin. “We had a solid day, but obviously would have liked it without the spin offs. Once the No. 3 spun the first time, it did mess up the tires, but it was great to see us in the top five.”
In the No. 3 Jr III Racing machine, Olson navigated a dicey start picking up a couple positions in the mix. The 2021 Lamborghini Super Trofeo North American champion continued with good pace despite a pair of quick spins.
“The first thirty minutes seemed to go pretty well,” said Olson. “The car handled great early on and did everything we asked of it. It was a blast to pick up some spots out there and put the car up in the top ten, just where we thought we should have run the car. Unfortunately, I pushed the car a little too hard and spun it. Once I did that, I overheated the tires, making it really hard to drive. That can be chalked up to driver error, but the car was great. It was a lot of fun to be out there and put our best laps down at the beginning of my stint.”
Crone, a IMSA Diverse Driver Development scholarship finalist, was briefed on the conditions of the car and then took over after Olson’s 49-minute stint. Proceeding with steady pace, Crone continued a clean stint despite a six-lap caution period, finishing with less than 15-minutes of green laps at the 3.27-mile road course. After bringing home a twelfth place finish, she’s already looking ahead to the season finale.
“Terry had a pretty good run going,” said Olson. “It started to get hotter as his stint went on. When I got in, it felt pretty good before the caution, we were keeping up with the guys in front of us, then a long caution happened. I think we had really good pace, especially in the straights. The low speed corners are what killed us today. Jr III did a great job taking preventative measures, and now, I’m looking forward to getting to work in Atlanta. It will be great to get some time to develop the car going into Atlanta, so I’m excited to return with Jr III Racing for that.”
Jr III Racing will return for the 2022 IMSA season finale in both IPC and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the LMP3 class as part of the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on October 1. The team made its IMSA Prototype debut at the circuit in 2019, scoring the Bronze Cup victory ahead of launching its full-time IMSA effort with the 2020 season.