Jason Alder finally made his return to the top step of the podium this past weekend at Virginia International Raceway, winning two of three races at the Andy Scriven Memorial Weekend event, bringing himself up to third in the championship.
Alder won the first race of the weekend after starting third, passing polesitter Noel Leon and second place Nico Christodoulou by the end of the second lap, and took off to win his first race of the year since round 2 of the year at Road Atlanta. Christodoulou finished the race in second place, and though he finished the race provisionally third, Leon was knocked down to eighth and Christian Weir collected his first podium of the season.
Louka St-Jean started race two on the pole as everyone behind jockeyed for position. A three-car battle for the lead ensued with Weir, Christodoulou and Clark, with Weir keeping the title contenders behind for a period of the race. Unfortunately, he ran off-track into the tyre barrier ending his day in heartbreaking fashion. Another two-car incident at the back of the field, bringing out a safety car.
Through the melee, Mac Clark raced his way through the field after starting eighth to win the race, with Christodoulou and Leon once again finishing second and third respectively. Unlike in race one, Leon’s podium was official this time.
Ryan Shehan started the third race on pole, but the trio of Leon, Alder and Clark all raced to the front having started in the top five. The session was marred by cautions, with Clark taking the win over Leon in second and Clark in third.
Leon still sits atop the championship with 176 points and a 5.5 point gap to Clark in second. With his two wins this weekend Alder moves to third in the championship, but sits nineteen points back of Clark.
Emily Linscott, who is writing about her experiences in F4 U.S. here on The Checkered Flag, started and finished in sixteenth in race one, improved three positions from her starting position of twentieth to finish seventeenth in race two, and made it through the melee of race three to finish fifteenth after starting in twenty-fourth.
The final event of the season is on 22-24 October at Circuit of the Americas alongside the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix.