Bringing momentum with us from the first race of the season where we lead 23 laps, the 4th race of the season (our 2nd) looked to be promising for a podium finish. Virginia International Raceway (VIR) is a familiar track for both Riley Racing (@RileyRacing) drivers, but unfortunately the team quickly ran into engine issues.

After qualifying, but before the start of the race, the team was able to find a vacuum leak in the intake system, which was a quick and fairly simple fix. Because of the engine issues, AJ (@ajriley) qualified the car, significantly down on power, in 28th in-class, which put us starting second-to-last.

AJ was making a great charge through the field, lapping much faster than most of the drivers in front of him. After only 30 minutes, AJ had managed to move up to 16th position, and was continuing to move forward. Unfortunately, AJ made a mistake and was caught out by the excessive rubber chunks and “clag”, leading to a spin and rearward contact with a guardrail.

AJ was able to continue on, and at the first full course caution, he brought the car in for fuel and a driver change. Jameson (@JamesonRiley) got in the car, but had to stay in pit lane for a few extra minutes to allow the crew to repair some of the rear damage.

Even with the damaged car, Jameson was able to lap faster than the leaders, and made up a lot of track position and time thanks to another yellow flag. Even though Jameson was lapping quickly, a fuel pump failed as a result of the crash, and our race was over 20 minutes before the checkered flag.

We will be making the repairs and improvements necessary, and will be at the next event at Lime Rock Park, our home track, on May 28-29.

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