Story By: HALEIGH JORDAN / JR III RACING – ALTON, VA – A double-header IMSA race weekend at VIRginia International Raceway saw Jr III (“Junior-Three) Racing driver Bijoy Garg sweep the VP Racing SportsCar Challenge weekend winning both races from the pole and leading flag-to-flag on Saturday and Sunday in the No. 3 Wing S2 Cyber Ligier JS P320.
Garg was quick to get acclimated to the majestic 3.27-mile track after a test day just a couple weeks prior to the race weekend. The young California driver topped the speed charts during Friday’s two practice sessions which produced lap times two-seconds faster than the rest of the field.
Saturday saw a warm early morning qualifying session where Garg set the fastest lap time of 1:41.579-seconds, securing his fifth pole award of the season.
The first of two 45-minute races saw Garg maintain the lead throughout the entire green flag race. Garg was able to build a gap of 31.665-seconds between him and the remainder of the field and raced to a dominating victory.
“I think the execution has been really good the last two race weekends,” said Garg. “I feel like we’ve always had the speed, it’s just been putting it all together and not making any mistakes. I feel like we’ve done that at Lime Rock and then here again at VIR.”
Under cooler temperatures, Sunday’s race two saw Garg take home a second win after coming down to a last lap shootout. Garg started from pole position once again and immediately started building a gap. Just 13-minutes into the race a caution came out due to a GSX incident, forcing the field to bunch up one more time on the restart as the track went green with 17-minutes remaining in the race. Garg once again started to build a gap before catching up to the tail end of the GSX traffic. The second-place LMP3 car was able to
close the gap between itself and Garg, but it wasn’t enough to take the win.
“I had a good gap before the safety car came out, and it bunched the field back up,” said Garg. “I think (Alex) Kirby took a bit better care of his tires than me, so I was just struggling to hang on. I knew in clear air I could easily pull away, but we kept catching traffic in the wrong spots, that’s what really brought him back into it. I had to defend from him pretty hard, but I could pull away in that last half of a lap and had no pressure at the finish line.”
Garg provisionally leads the VP Racing SportsCar Challenge points standings going into the final event weekend at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in October.