After an exciting three days of racing activity, Julia Landauer earned a hard-fought 2nd place in the Semi Pro Division at the Bullring at Last Vegas Motor Speedway on October 18th, 2014. Although Landauer crossed the line first after a last-lap pass, a flagging error on the official’s part resulted in INEX ending the race on lap 39 instead of 40.
“This was a really great race and we’ve worked hard all season for it,” Landauer said of her result. “I’m disappointed they didn’t give me the win even though I took the checkered flag, but I’m still proud of my performance. I’ve done well on the faster race tracks this season, so I was pretty confident it’d be a good weekend for us.”
Landauer was consistently at the top of the time charts during Thursday’s practice. Friday’s qualifying did not go well for Landauer, as well as for other top drivers, as oil was spilled on the track half way through the Semi Pro qualifying session. Half of the cars had clean track, half of them had oil and speedy dry on the track, resulting in a qualifying time of 1 second slower than in practice, on a 17 second lap.
Starting 10th, Landauer immediately started making her way through the field and was up in the top-4 by half way the halfway point. With around 10 laps to go Landauer was in third place when the second place car’s motor blew up. After the caution it was a sprint to the finish. Landauer restarted in second.
Landauer maintained second place on the restart and held that for the next few laps. Unfortunately, the flagger who controls the race threw the white flag (indicating one lap to go) a lap early. To remedy the mistake, no flag was thrown on the actual last lap. The leader thought that the race was over, and slowed down, despite no checkered flag being thrown.
Having made that mistake once herself, Landauer kept racing, as did the drivers in third and fourth place. Landauer passed the leader coming out of turn two and went on to win the race. Officials then called over the radio that they would officially end the race on lap 39 due to their error.
“It’s unfortunate the a flagging error dictated the outcome of the race, but I’m so proud of my drive and everyone at Julia Landauer Racing and 860 Motorsports for a solid effort and I’m more motivated than ever to win at the Road Course Nationals at Virginia International Raceway in December!”