Garg breaks through for double-win VPRC weekend in Sebring
Sebring, Fla. (13 March 2023) - Jr III (“Junior-Three”) Racing scored its first IMSA win on Sunday morning and then repeated the feat in the afternoon to claim a double-win weekend in Sebring. Jr III Racing driver Bijoy Garg had a breakout event on board the No. 3 S2 Cyber Ligier JS P320, earning his first-ever IMSA’s VP Racing SportsCar Challenge (VPRC) victory on Sunday after claiming pole position in qualifying earlier in the weekend.
The winning weekend marked another positive benchmark for Jr III Racing, which made its first-ever IMSA start in 2019 and has continued to build its customer programs at the professional level. The VPRC outing was held as part of the prologue weekend to the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, with the two 45-minute sprint races featuring some 30 entries between the LMP3 prototypes and the GTX-class GT4 machines.
Starting the race in pole position, Garg had a smooth start to hold onto the lead going into the high-speed first corner. He quickly built a gap of over four seconds as his lap times continued to improve with each circuit of the 3.74-mile track.
As the race progressed Garg continued to lay down fast lap times improving in each sector of the track. Around the halfway mark, Garg had caught up to GSX traffic before a full course caution for debris on the back straightaway slowed the field.
The track went back green with just under five minutes remaining. Garg restarted from first and was able to once again quickly place a gap between him and the rest of the field. The rookie sports car driver took the checkered with a 3.479-second lead.
In VPRC, the starting lineup of the second race is determined by the driver’s fastest lap in qualifying and second fastest lap in race one, because Garg had the fastest lap in both qualifying and race one he started from pole position for race two.
On lap one an incident between two LMP3 cars caused a full course caution right away. There were 35 minutes remaining in the 45 minute race when the track went green once again. Garg fell to second place early on, but stayed on the bumper of the leader, Dan Goldburg.
Just past the halfway mark, Garg made a decisive move under braking to take the lead in turn seven. Garg was able to build a bit of a gap between himself and the rest of the field while setting the fastest lap of the race - 1:57.903 seconds on his way to a second win in as many outings.
“It feels great to go back-to-back this weekend,” said Garg. “It has given me a lot of confidence for the rest of the year. Today was special though because not only did I get my first sports car win, but we also scored Jr III Racing’s first IMSA win! The team brought a great car for me and I really appreciate all their hard work. We had two different types of wins today, the first win was all about pace and the second win was about passing. Overall we had a really good weekend and I’m really happy about having the fastest car all weekend.”
Since starting IMSA competition in 2019, Jr III Racing had earned three IMSA Prototype Challenge podium finishes before growing to compete in IMSA WeatherTech competition in 2022 and taking four podiums on the season.
“The team has earned the wins we had today,” said Billy Glavin, owner of Jr III Racing. “Bijoy scored us our first IMSA win, and had an amazing drive in both races. In race one he had a great late race restart that put him in a position to take the checkered. Then in race two Bijoy had a great pass in turn seven that got him the lead. He kept his head down and hit his marks. A big congratulations to everyone on the team!”
The next VPRC event for Jr III Racing will take place July 22 and 23rd at Lime Rock Park. This will be the first race for LMP3 cars at the famed Connecticut track as the all-new VPRC series is added to the traditional July event.