Podiums for McElrea, Douglas in good day for Kiwis in America
By : Zane Shackleton
August 29, 2021
A late charge wasn’t enough for Hunter McElrea in New Jersey this morning, as the Kiwi driver settled for second in the first Indy Pro 2000 race of the weekend.
McElrea dropped to two and half seconds behind race leader Reece Gold at one satge in the 25-lap race.
Gold had the benefit of fresher rubber for the race and used that to his advantage in the early stages.
However, a determined McElrea began to reel Gold in over the final few tours, setting up an exciting finish.
McElrea closed to within one second of his rival but couldn’t get ahead as Gold took the chequered flag for his first win of the season.
Second for McElrea does give him a decent haul of points. Though the championship swing was not as much as he would have liked as series leader Christian Rasmussen eased home in third.
“Considering the amount of bad luck we had in the middle part of the season, I’ll take a second-place finish and the points,” McElrea said.
“I’ve come back from nowhere in the championship back to fighting for a podium in the final standings, but honestly, I’m not as focused on that now.
“Wins are all I care about now, so I don’t care if I have to be a bit more aggressive. I know I can go for pole tomorrow and get two wins.”
Elsewhere, Jacob Douglas finished third in his debut Formula 4 race at Laguna Seca.
Douglas qualified fourth and made an early position to cement his spot on the podium.
He will have one more race tomorrow.
Back in New Jersey, Billy Frazer claimed his fifth top-ten result of the season in USF2000.
Frazer profited from a last lap crash to snatch ninth at the line. He also earned the Hard Charger Award for the second time this year.
Peter Vodanovich also made headway in the race. He qualified 20th and made up three places to finish 17th.
Like McElrea, Frazer and Vodanovich will have two more races tomorrow.