Leo Lamelas and Neil Alberico, driving the #4 ANSA Motorsports Ligier JS P3, won the opening round of the 2019 IMSA Prototype Challenge series at Daytona International Speedway.
Alberico, at the wheel of the #4 Ansa Motorsports entry for the final stint, took the chequered flag 13.987 seconds ahead of the #47 Forty7 Motorsports Norma M30 with Austin McCusker at the wheel, in the car he shared with Rodrigo Pflucker Minaya.
Taking the third place after three hours of racing was the #60 Wulver Motorsports Ligier in which Toni Kasemets crossed the line in the car he shared the piloting duties with Bruce Hamilton and Scott Maxwell.
It was a significant victory for Neil Alberico whose previous experience was in single-seaters. The Californian driver finished ninth in the 2018 Indy Lights championship and eight in the 2017 championship.
Alberico was delighted with the win, which saw him take the lead with 40 minutes remaining.
“It was my first race ever race here in Daytona,” said Alberico, “The IMSA series is awesome. It’s my first experience here and to be on the podium – let alone win – is awesome with these ANSA Motorsports guys. Congrats to Leo and hopefully, there’s more to come.”
Leo Lamelas, who picked up his first win in the IMSA Prototype Challenge in at Sebring in 2018, driving for Charles Wicht Racing with Pato O’Ward was equally happy at the result.
“I’m so grateful to everybody,” said Lamelas. “Our team did a perfect job. It’s very special for me too. I love Daytona, so I’m very happy to win here. Last year, my team, CWR, was an excellent team also. Today I had the opportunity to go to ANSA. I’m just grateful for everyone who is making this possible for me. It’s a dream for me to be here racing in IMSA.”
The IMSA Prototype Challenge grid returns to the track next at Sebring International Raceway on March 13 – 16 as part of the weekend for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Presented by Advance Auto Parts.