top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureLIAM REDFORD

Loni Unser scores two fourth place finishes at Virginia International Raceway

Loni Unser continued her impressive debut season in Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by finishing twice in fourth place at Virginia International Raceway, with her race one speed a particular highlight as she is becoming a regular contender for a spot on the podium.


Loni Unser, Kellymoss, Porsche Sprint Challenge North America, VIR 2024
Photo credits: Porsche Motorsport NA / Kyle Schwab

Twice finishing in fourth place at Virginia International Raceway, Loni Unser continued her impressive debut season in Porsche Sprint Challenge North America. The Kellymoss driver made good progress throughout the weekend, qualifying her Porsche 718 Cayman 718 GT4 RS Clubsport fifth in class, seventh overall.


An excellent first race saw Unser finish fourth overall as well as fourth in Cayman ProAm, before close battles in race two led to a second fourth place class result of the weekend.


Arriving at Virginia International Raceway fresh off her maiden podium at Circuit of the Americas, Unser was aiming for equally strong results in round four of Porsche Sprint Challenge North America. Loni’s development has been the key to her success, acclimatising quickly to the Porsche 718 Cayman 718 GT4 RS Clubsport.


As a result of her performances, Unser has recently been selected for the Porsche Mobil 1 Female Driver Program North America and this serves as a significant next step in her career.


To prepare for the weekend ahead, Loni took to the track for a series of test sessions at Virginia International Raceway. Once again, the Shift Up Now athlete did a nice job in building into the event and pushing towards the top-5 positions in class. Her fastest time came in the first session on Friday, finishing both official practice sessions in fifth within the Cayman Pro/Am division.


The first competitive session of the weekend was qualifying which took place on Saturday morning. Unser was able to improve a further half a second from her best time from practice and this saw her qualify inside the top-5 of Cayman Pro/Am, seventh in the overall classification. This was a good start to the day for Loni who was aiming to push towards the podium in the two races to follow.


Lining up seventh overall, fifth in class for the opening race of the weekend, Unser made an excellent start and negotiated an action-packed first lap to move up to fourth position. This put her within sight of a podium position when the safety was deployed for an incident involving a Cayman Masters competitor.


A strong restart saw Loni right on the tail of Caroline Candas, while building a comfortable gap to class rival Chris Hutter behind.

Holding in fourth position during the middle portion of the race, a second safety car was deployed in order to retrieve the car of Paige Morales. Meanwhile, Evan Hinkle had moved into fifth position and he was applying pressure to Unser on the second restart.


Loni did a superb job to defend from the debutant and even matched the time set by Candas on the penultimate lap. Protecting her position on the final lap, Unser took the checkered flag in fourth position to bank a good haul of championship points.


The second and final race at Virginia International Raceway took place in fine conditions on Sunday morning with Loni starting from seventh overall, fifth in the Cayman ProAm class. Despite a busy opening lap, Unser was able to move into fourth place in class following an issue for Evan Hinkle, while remaining seventh overall.


The driver ahead was now William Peluchiwski and the Kellymoss driver was immediately applying pressure to the Cayman Masters competitor. As she looked to shape for a move, the safety car was deployed on lap six with an incident just outside the top-10 leaving a number of cars stranded on track.


When the race got back underway, Unser continued to run in close proximity to Peluchiwski and with little pressure behind her from Loni’s Cayman ProAm rivals, she could focus forward and set up a pass.


Running just a quarter of a second behind her rival on lap 16, there was little time remaining but her continued pressure paid off. Overtaking Peluchiwski on the final lap, Unser completed her weekend with a sixth-place overall finish, collecting another fourth place result in class.


It was another excellent weekend for Unser who collected valuable championship points at a challenging circuit. Her race one speed was a particular highlight and Loni is becoming a regular contender for a spot on the podium.


“Kellymoss gave me an incredible car as always, and VIR is such a fun track,” said Unser. “I think it’s so cool that USAC and Porsche Sprint Challenge have created such a good platform for competitive racing. It’s definitely keeping me on my toes! I can’t wait to continue the battles at Watkins Glen.”


She will be aiming to return to the rostrum when the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America drivers visit Watkins Glen on the weekend of 6th/7th July.

0 comments

Comments


bottom of page