LEXINGTON, Ohio – Ayla Agren scored a breakthrough inaugural win at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, putting her No. 81 Mygale/Honda in the lead early in the race and fending off her teammate in the closing stages of round seven of the F1600 Series season.
Agren led a Team Pelfrey sweep of the top four spots, winning by a slim margin over Garth Rickards while Nikita Lastochkin and Augie Lerch earned a hard-fought third and fourth over Jack Mitchell Jr. who followed in fifth.
Agren, from Norway, has been knocking on the door for her first win since Road Atlanta in April, finishing on the podium there and missing out on victory at VIR in June by a car length. T
he second-year F1600 driver led practice on Friday at Mid-Ohio with the fastest time and started second for Saturday’s race, quickly finding herself in the lead and carefully playing a race craft game with teammate and points leader Rickards.
“It’s really great to get my first win,” said Agren, who slims down Rickards’ Championship lead even more. “I have to thank Pelfrey for the effort this weekend so far. I knew Garth was coming and I just put my head down and kept focusing forward.”
Agren becomes the first female and Norwegian to win a F1600 Championship Series race. Interestingly, she becomes the first full-time aspiring driver to win a race in F1600 in 2014, in what has turned out to be a hotly contested season.
Rickards couldn’t find a way past Agren on the final laps after closing in on her from 1.5 seconds out in the final stages of the all-green-flag race.
“Ayla was fast today and it was great to get the team their first win like this,” said Rickards, who has also been close all year to a first victory.