BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – Forty7 Motorsports has been knocking on the door of its first IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda win throughout the first three races of the season.
At Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Sunday, Austin McCusker and TJ Fischer kicked that door down, delivering a dominant 19.237 second victory in the team’s No. 47 Norma M30 over the series-leading No. 30 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier JS P3 of Kris Wright and Yann Clairay.
It was the first win for Forty7 Motorsports in IMSA competition and comes on the heels of runner-up finishes in all three prior IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda races this season, including two for the No. 47 entry at Daytona and Sebring.
“We’ve been quick, and really this wasn’t the place where we had the speed, but it was about Forty7 Motorsports,” said Fischer. “I think we had surprising pace in the race. We had good race pace and it just worked out perfectly. I’m stoked, man. It’s great that we could bring this thing home for both Austin and I, this is awesome.”
Fischer started the race in the fourth spot and by the end of his stint was chasing down polesitter and race leader Leo Lamelas in the No. 7 Charles Wicht Racing Ligier JS P3, before hitting pit road. Not long after Fischer hit his pit box, a yellow flag for the No. 33 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier JS P3 of Lance Willsey allowed the team to do its service and driver change under caution rather than under the green flag like its closest competitors.
The time saved on pit road allowed McCusker to inherit a nearly one-lap lead. From there it was just about managing the gap and avoiding lap traffic.
“There was a lot of lapped traffic for me,” said McCusker. “It was pretty difficult. I just didn’t want to chance anything, so I kind of played it safe with my passes and only pass when I thought I could make it through. That was it. I just wanted to nurse it home to get that first win. I knew we had a big gap.”
The runner-up finish for Wright and Clairay was exactly what the team needed to preserve its points lead with only two races remaining, now leading McCusker by 13 points. Wright has finished on the podium in each of the four races this season and is looking to ride that consistency to the championship
“We just wanted to do our job and get a podium if we could do that,” said Wright. “We wanted to win if we could, but if we didn’t have the car for it we weren’t gonna push it. We’re trying to be really smart about it and not taking any chances and see what happens [in the season finale] at Road Atlanta.”
Max Hanratty and Garett Grist rounded out the podium in the No. 3 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier JS P3, 10 seconds behind their teammates.
Dean Baker and Zacharie Robichon, meanwhile, finished fourth in the No. 4 ANSA Motorsports Ligier JS P3. The team rebounded from a penalty to deliver Baker the LMP3 Masters victory.
“There were a lot of good drivers, a lot of close competition and a lot of passing,” said Baker. “We are excited to win in Masters of course, but we’re always looking for that top step.”