Figge & Wilkins Take Control At Mid-Ohio

Alex Figge was the GT class winner during Saturday's Pirelli World Challenge event at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. (Al Steinberg Photo)
Alex Figge was the GT class winner during Saturday’s Pirelli World Challenge event at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. (Al Steinberg Photo)

LEXINGTON, Ohio – Alex Figge (GT) and Mark Wilkins (GTS) took overdue second wins of their seasons in Round 11 of the Pirelli World Challenge 2013 campaign, at the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio presented by StopTech Brakes.

Figge controlled the race from the Motul pole position in the No. 9 K-PAX Racing Volvo S60 in a flag-to-flag winning performance. A mix of early pace and hitting GTS traffic at exactly the right time helped him to win the 30-lap race by 1.739 seconds.

“I feel everyone would agree we were due one; it’s a big relief, and monkey off the back,” said Figge, who also won round one of the 2013 season at St. Petersburg. “The K-PAX Racing Volvo S60 was very, very good initially. The first half was absolutely lights out. I also had it going for me that apparently, the guys behind me caught traffic as they were fighting for position. So it was a perfect storm for them. It turns out I needed that at the end as we had a little hiccup with the transmission. We held on; we needed it.”

Johnny O’Connell in the No. 3 Cadillac CTS-V.R, added to his GT class points lead with a second place finish. James Sofronas in the No. 14 GMG/Swisher Racing/Mobil 1 Audi R8 LMS scored a needed podium in third place after a recent run of fourth or worse place finishes.

“I had a great start,” said O’Connell, who started fifth. “There was a gap, and I was forced to do a lot of what I did by what James did. But I found myself gaining positions in the first couple corners. Then it was just trying to stay in front of the Audi. Then Randy (Pobst) fell back, and that allowed me to move into second.”

Sofronas held off a train of cars behind him at the outset after an early pass on Jordan Taylor in the third Cadillac entered this weekend – the No. 5 Cadillac Racing Cadillac CTS-V.R.

“It was a little too conservative on the start, but I knew I would have a good car at the end,” said Sofronas. “I knew I had to get around Jordan early; he’s young but man, is he a fast professional. I knew I had to get around him or I’d be in real trouble.

“Then setting my sights on the top three, our car comes in at the end. But it was not enough. We really are down on torque in the corners. So we need to hit traffic at the perfect time. Randy ran strong, did what he could to keep me behind. I put a move on him in the Keyhole. The Audi R8 LMS, GMG, Swisher car was really strong. I don’t think I could have driven any harder or better. We lost a few points but we are in this thing to the end.”

Sofronas’ pass on Pobst netted him the Cadillac CTS-V Move of the Race Award.