Photo: Pirelli World Challenge

Ryan Eversley beats Michael Lewis in close fight to extend points lead

Ryan Eversley claimed a hard-fought victory after a close fight with title rival Michael Lewis in the penultimate World Challenge round of the year at Watkins Glen.

The RealTime Racing driver started from pole position and claimed the lead despite an early safety car restart due to a fluid clean up.

Eversley pulled away in the first part of the race, utilising the lapped drivers as Bryan Herta Autosport driver Lewis had to fight hard to keep up.

But with about five minutes left of the race, Lewis was back right on the rear bumper of Eversley’s Honda.

The Hyundai driver tried his best to get past but only had one real shot when he tried to go on the outside of Eversley, only to settle back behind and finished second a mere two tenths behind.

Mason Filippi made his way past Lewis’ Hyundai team-mate Mark Wilkins, who started second, after the safety car restart. The duo was locked in a close fight for third for the remainder of the race but with no position changes. Filippi crossed the line in third, close to 12 seconds behind the leading duo with Wilkins fourth a mere 0.338 seconds behind the Honda rival.

JT Coupal and Nate Vincent had a tough fight for fifth position with Volkswagen driver Vincent keeping fifth for the majority of the race. But Coupal fought hard and managed to squeeze past in a drag race to the finishing line to claim fifth by a margin of 0.154 seconds.

Eversley’s victory got him two points more than Lewis, but the Hyundai driver got one point for the fastest lap of the race and also pole position for tomorrow. Eversley heads the drivers championship by nine points with a maximum of 26 points still to be scored in the final race of 2018 tomorrow, starting at 15:25 local time and 21:25 CEST.