• IMSA

McCusker Ends Season on High Note

Kris Wright entered this weekend’s IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda season finale at Road Atlanta knowing all he had to do was have a clean race to win his first professional sports car racing championship. Forty7 Motorsports – who entered the race at Road Atlanta second in points – looked to cap off its first full season in the series on a high note after scoring the pole Thursday afternoon.

Mission accomplished for both.

Wright finished second to win the LMP3 class championship, capping off an unforgettable season that included podiums in all six races in the No. 30 Extreme Speed Motorsports Ligier JS P3, while Austin McCusker and TJ Fischer gave Forty7 Motorsports its second win of the season. McCusker and the No. 47 Forty7 Motorsports Norma M30 finishing the season second in the standings.

“It’s really amazing, sleeping last night was not an easy thing to do knowing everything that could be thrown away with some stupid move, me or someone else,” said Wright. “We are just really happy that we got everything to come together in the first 45 minutes and finished second.

“I think I clinched it (the championship) when I hopped out of the car and finished my 45 minutes but seeing (co-driver) Nic (Jonsson) cross the line in second was awesome, because a podium every race is quite an achievement.”

Forty7 Motorsports’ two entries combined to lead the first hour of the one-hour, 45-minute race with the No. 74 Norma M30 entry run in partnership with Alianza Motorsports also spending time at the front of the field. That entry seemed poised for a podium finish of its own, but Anthony Simone was forced to pit with a mechanical issue while running third with 16 minutes remaining.

A yellow flag shortly later set up an eight-minute sprint to the finish, but McCusker was able to hold off Jonsson to win by 7.809 seconds.

It was the second win of the season for McCusker and Fischer, with the duo also winning at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. It was the third podium in five starts with the duo co-driving together. McCusker also finished second in the season-opener at Daytona, but with co-driver David Droux.

“Got to give a thanks to Forty7 Motorsports, they had the car on rails all weekend and qualified the car on pole for TJ, took home the win,” said McCusker. “Didn’t need a pit stop under yellow this time, we won it on outright pace this time.”

Rounding out the podium was the No. 40 Polestar Motor Racing Ligier JS P3 of Keith Grant and David Grant, the duo’s best finish of the season while Max Hanratty finished fourth in the No. 3 Extreme Speed Motorsports entry alongside co-driver Harry Gottsacker to finish third in the standings. Cameron Cassels finished fifth to score the LMP3 Masters victory, his first of the season, which also was good enough to secure him the LMP3 Masters championship.

Original article can be found at


© 2016 Austin McCusker.