Round nine of the Heusinkveld Mazda MX-5 World Tour would be a night race, the only night race of the season which would be at Sebring. A heavy draft track that would see a lot of fuel saved.

The race saw Steven Van Opstal, the AM driver take the pole position from Sonny Kanchin, last races winner, Eerõ Nomm would start in fourth place on the gird.

Van Opstal got the worst start and resulting in him being overtaken by third place starter Artem Khorolsky, he was able to keep Kanchin behind him for the first part of turn one, but he was bale to move into the lead as they went into turn two.

Going into turn five Steve Claeys spun Derick Holland around into Sara Dove, both drivers were able to continue with minor damage.

Van Opstal made the move for second place on Sonny Kanchin at Sunset Bend. Kanchin attempted the over and under, but was unable to make it stick as Nomm came into the pits to serve a jump start penalty. Kanchin went for the same move that Van Opstal did a lap earlier, he made the move stick this time,  Gene Fides was able to pass Van Opstal on the inside of Sunset, but Opstal was able to fight for it with on inside line of turn one, and keep the position.

Tom Rathje and Kip Stephens made contact at turn one as Stephens understeered into Rathje’s car. Both cars continued, but crucially not in a pack of cars to save fuel.

Khorolsky was falling backwards into Kanchin and Steven Van Opstal as the pitstop window came closer and closer.

Kanchin closed the gap quickly and was immediately applying pressure to Khorolsky. Meaning that Kanchin would be able to save fuel behind Artem and overtake him in the pitstops.

Eerö Nomm came into the pits at lap eight after catching the pack of cars in front of him by two seconds a lap.

With nine laps to go Kanchin went for the move on Khorolsky at turn two. Kanchin went down the inside, with Khorolsky leaving enough room. Kanchin was not able to hold his line, having a light tap with Khorlsky’s left rear tyre, Kanchin was sent into a half spin that he was able to control, But he went to the back of the three car train for the lead.

Next time by Khorolsky and Van Opstal came in to the pits to make their one and only stop of the race. Kanchin stayed out to ‘hot lap’ and jump Van Opstal and Khorolsky in the pit lane.

Kanchin came in at the next opportunity, Khorolsky made it through in front, but Van Opstal was jumped by the championship leader.

Khorolsky was caught by Kanchin once again within a few laps. Kanchin didn’t hesitate to put the pressure on the race leader once again.

With four laps left in round nine, Kanchin made the move successfully on Khorolsky going into turn one. Khorolsky stayed behind Kanchin, applying the pressure, just like Kanchin did to him before the pit stops.

As the white flag flew, Kanchin defended the inside with all his might every time Khorolsky looked to make a pass. Khorolsky only had Sunset Bend to make the move, Kanchin was defending the inside, Khorolsky tried the over under move, but Kanchin was smart and defended every inch of the inside of the track. Meaning he would win round nine, with Khorolsky in second and Steven Van Opstal, the AM driver taking an overall podium and the class win.

The next round of the MWT would be at Road America, a track with high and low speed corners like the kink and Canada Corner. Khorolsky wants to win a race this season, instead of coming so close, but yet so far…

 

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