MONTEREY, Calif. — Elliott Skeer outlasted the field Friday morning at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and earned the first SCCA Pro Racing Playboy MX-5 Cup victory of his short career.
Skeer, a 17-year-old high school student playing hooky to participate in the doubleheader race week, was one of five cars battling for the race lead at different points in the 45-minute timed race. Skeer bested all of them to the checkered flag by 3.001 seconds.
The opening laps of the race saw Stevan McAleer lead the standing start away from the pole position. John Copeland made with Skeer as the group moved toward the Corkscrew, spinning Copeland out of contention and onto pit lane with a 16th-place finish.
The other five cars continued to battle, with Chrisian Szymczak leading laps seven to nine, and Skeer taking the point on lap 10 going into turn two when Szymczak slid wide.
Skeer, the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Ladder shootout winner for this season, held off a handful of challenges to the checkered flag. Catching traffic at the right time to create a gap from Ara Malkhassian in the closing laps. Malkhassian sputtered exiting turn two on the last lap, out of fuel, and let Skeer drive away for the win.
“To get the first win in the series, it was something special out there,” Skeer said. “To do it in my home state, the second home race for me, I love it, every second.”
McAleer led the opening six laps of the race and moved around Malkhassian after his bobble to take second place. Malkhassian settled for third, followed by John Dean II and Steve Bottom.
Skeer was penalized 40 points by SCCA Pro Racing officials after the race for the contact on Copeland.
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