The sixth round of the Heusinkveld Mazda MX-5 World Tour is at Mid-Ohio, a well known track in America that has played host to many great IndyCar races over the years, except it would have some slower machinery that goes by the name of the Global Mazda MX-5, a car that sees many drives learn the ropes of motorsport in the real world and in-sim. Sonny Kanchin would be resuming his title defence just a week after winning on his return to the series at Mosport. The race also saw last years AM Class champion Gianni Quintelier return to the series for the round, he said before the race, “I love this track, I had my best race here last year,” he would be trying to beat his best finishing position of seventh here.
Qualifying started and the two championship protagonists came out as early as possible, Nomm was the first to set a time of 1:36.291, a lap that Kanchin would struggle to beat. Kanchin was not able to beat Nomm time, leaving him in second place for the start of the race, with Travis Schwenke starting behind him with Jason Copper to his right.
The lights went out with no lead changes in the top five, but behind Quintelier was battling for sixth place, he was able to fend off Beroual-Smith and Overgaard. Four laps in Quintelier was able to get past Van Opstaal for fifth place. Kanchin also went for a move on Nomm for the lead going into turn four, Kanchin was not able to complete the move leaving Nomm still in the lead.
Four laps later Tom Rathje and Overgaard made contact at turn seven, Rathje was spun around, but was able to continue along with Overgaard with minor damage. Rathje came in to pit at the end of the lap, opening the pit window. Quintelier came in a lap later to try and get out of the traffic and set some quicker laps. On lap 12 Kanchin made contact with Nomm at turn 10, sending Nomm into a half spin with some minor left front wing damage, Nomm went to the back of the lead pack. Which may have been a blessing in disguise, allowing Nomm to save a bit more fuel before they pit.
Kanchin and Schwenke came in to pit at the and of lap 17, leaving Jason Cooper and Eroõ Nomm to hot-lap in an attempt to jump the two Asbury cars in the pitstop faze. Nomm and Copper were in a lap later. Schwenke and Kanchin were both able to jump Nomm by a couple of seconds.
A car six car train of Van Opstal, Beroual-Smith, Thissen, McNally and Dove, were all in a battle that had been ragging on for laps, but with no major position changes yet. The lead group was also without change, with Kanchin pulling away and Nomm trying to find a way past Kanchin’s teammate, Travis Schwenke. A lap later Schwenke left the door open for Nomm ad they went to it into China Beach, they were side by side until turn 11 with Nomm coming out on top.
Kanchin would win again with Nomm behind, just able to hold of Schwenke at the line.
The next round of the MWT will be at Road Atlanta on the 12th of May where Kanchin will want to continue his winning streak without interruption for Eroõ Nomm.