WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Mikhail Goikhberg completed a weekend sweep of rounds five and six of the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites with a victory Saturday at Watkins Glen Int’l.
Goikhberg has won five of six rounds this season in the No. 10 JDC Motorsports Élan DP02 chassis powered by a Mazda engine and on Cooper Tires. He finished second in round three on June 7 at Kansas Speedway and has 118 points this season, just two shy of perfection.
“I want to thank JDC and everyone who is involved in that program,” Goikhberg said. “We are getting better every weekend, and I really like where this program is going. And thanks to Cooper Tires and Mazda for making this series possible. The tires were very consistent and manageable in this race.”
Andrew Novich and Hayden Duerson finished second and third, respectively, today on the 11-turn, 3.4-mile circuit at scenic, historic Watkins Glen to each record their first career podium finishes in the International Motor Sports Association Development Series.
Goikhberg won round five under caution Friday. But he had to work harder for the victory Saturday morning under a second consecutive day of brilliant sunshine.
After starting from the pole, Goikhberg rocketed to a lead of 13.009 seconds over Craig Duerson just 15 minutes into the 45-minute race. But Goikhberg’s cruise control ended shortly thereafter when the No. 31 Eurosport Racing entry of Michal Chlumecky spun into the gravel in the famous “Boot” section of the circuit, triggering a full-course yellow.
“We worked to a nice, comfortable lead there and just tried to conserve the tires,” Goikhberg said. “When you are chasing someone, that (full-course yellow) is the greatest thing in the world. But when you are leading, you are not looking forward to being chased.”