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It was a trip to the 2.258-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for VRD Racing’s Jimmie Lockhart and rounds nine and ten of the USF Juniors Presented by Cooper Tires program. With multiple podiums to his credit to date in 2023, Lockhart was looking to add to his results resume at the famed Lexington, Ohio facility.

With a trio of pre-event test sessions on Thursday, Lockhart positioned himself inside the top-ten claiming tenth, eighth, and ninth place positions on the timed charts in the three 45-minute-long tests. Looking to improve on Friday, Lockhart and VRD Racing went to work.

Returning to the track Friday, qualifying took place in the morning with round nine of the 2023 program taking the green flag that afternoon. Qualifying in a similar position where his pace showed the day prior, Lockhart clocked the seventh quickest lap of the session and rolled off the grid from the inside of row four for the first wheel-to-wheel action.

Making a jump from seventh to fourth on the opening lap, Lockhart secured his position in the top-five by the time he got to the third corner and the yellow flag flew for an incident behind him. Back to green on lap four, Lockhart ran between his teammates as VRD Racing occupied third through fifth on track. Falling back to sixth on lap six, it took four laps for the young Floridian to move back into fourth where he ran until the yellow flag flew once again. Back to green on lap 15, the last five circuits of the race ran caution-free as Lockhart crossed the line in the fourth position after applying heavy pressure on the driver in front as he fought hard for a podium result. On route to his top-five result, Lockhart earned the second fastest lap of the race.

With another top-five finish to his credit, the goal on Saturday was to build upon that. Qualifying ninth, it would be an inside row five starting spot for the USF Juniors rookie but from there, things did not go well. A broken front wing on lap four sent Lockhart to the pits for repairs as he reentered the track at the tail of the field. A caution bunched the field back together giving Jimmie a fighting chance as he was able to slice his way forward to battle for the sixth position. Contact in turn four late in the race ended Lockhart’s chance at another top-five finish.

“Race two did not end well,” explained Lockhart. “A difficult pill to swallow as all the VRD Racing drivers had great speed, and I think I would have been able to continue my progression and into a podium result.”

With Mid-Ohio now in the books, Lockhart will begin to prepare for Road America in one month’s time as he sets his sight on the dates of August 11-13.

Stay tuned to the Jimmie Lockhart social media pages for news, information, photos, and results from the 2023 season. For more information on Jimmie Lockhart, please visit him via his social media pages by searching Jimmie Lockhart Racing.

Photo Credit: Gavin Baker Photography

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