Brian Alder takes Lites II championship.
Mikhail Goikhberg (in photo) and Brian Alder sealed Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda season championships in style with victories in Round 11 Saturday at Virginia International Raceway.
Goikhberg, from North Vancouver, Canada, clinched his first Lites 1 season title with his seventh victory of the season in the No. 10 JDC Motorsports entry. He held off pole sitter Andrew Novich by .214 of a second at the finish after a fierce final-lap charge by Novich in the No. 61 Comprent Motor Sports entry.
"We're the champions," Goikhberg said. "I don't care what happened in the race, I'm just as happy as I could be. It took longer than I thought, but now it's done. I'm so happy. There just aren't any words at this time to describe my emotions. I'm really, really happy."
Alder makes it two in a row
Alder, from Marysville, Ohio, earned his second consecutive Lites 2 championship in the No. 22 BAR1 Motorsports entry.
Goikhberg earned the title in his third season in the IMSA Development Series with JDC Motorsports. Goikhberg finished a distant second to Tristan Nunez in the championship in 2012 and a close third behind Sean Rayhall and Ryan Booth in 2013.
"Life teaches you sometimes you just have to wait for good things to happen," Goikhberg said. "It's really gratifying to have done this over the three years with the same group of guys at JDC Motorsports."
Matt McMurry, from Phoenix, finished third in the No. 20 JDC Motorsports entry, 1.717 seconds behind his winning teammate. It was second consecutive podium finish for McMurry, 16, who was runner-up in Round 10 two weeks ago at Road America.
Robert Alon, from Encino, California, finished fourth in the No. 9 Performance Tech entry. Enzo Potolicchio, from Hollywood, Florida, rounded out the top five and was the first Masters (age 40 and over) finisher in the No. 4 8Star Motorsports Élan DP02 chassis powered by a Mazda engine.