Road Atlanta: Libra Racing preview

Libra Racing prepares for Petit Libra Racing will join a massive field at Petit Le Mans for the 13th running of the classic 1,000-mile race at Road Atlanta on October 2nd. This will mark the third event of the 2010 American Le Mans Series ...

Libra Racing prepares for Petit

Libra Racing will join a massive field at Petit Le Mans for the 13th running of the classic 1,000-mile race at Road Atlanta on October 2nd.

This will mark the third event of the 2010 American Le Mans Series season for the new prototype team, and the return of Andrew Prendeville and Harri Toivonen to the cockpit. Joining them will be Peter Dempsey, who is making his sportscar debut after much success in the junior open wheel formulas, including a win at Road Atlanta last year in the Star Mazda Series on way to a second-place finish in the championship.

Libra Racing's Team Principal, Ian Dawson, is developing not only a LMP2 racing car, but also young talent. "Introducing new drivers to sportscars has been a key focus over the past couple of years for me and again we are very happy to be in a position to announce Peter Dempsey to the line up. This will be Peter's debut in a sportscar and the plan is to see him adapt from formula cars and bring his undoubted speed to the program."

Former Indy Lights Ace and up-and-coming sportscar racer Andrew Prendeville will lead the team's effort following his strong drive at Mid-Ohio. The Ohio native fought hard on his home track to keep up with the other prototypes, which were allowed to increase their horsepower for the event. Meanwhile, Libra opted to run a LMP2 setup for the first time to meet the ACO's regulations for the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans with the Dunlop LMP2 tires.

Libra Racing may have been at a competitive disadvantage at Mid-Ohio, but Prendeville drove steadily in eighth overall and fourth in class. With 35 minutes to go and a respectable result clearly in reach, the motor succumbed to a sudden loss of oil pressure. Technical gremlins followed the team to Road America, where an engine failure prevented competing in qualifying or the race. Still, the engineers now had valuable data to improve the motor, and have completed considerable work in advance of Petit Le Mans.

The engineering advances and strong driver lineup ought to make for a strong result at Road Atlanta. "We are all pleased that Harri Toivonen is making a return to the race track at Petit Le Mans," said Dawson. "The plan was always to have him back in the car during the later part of 2010. He has continued to conduct many test laps in the current Radical IES Nissan prior to it first race at Mid Ohio." Toivonen and Dawson worked together on the Eco Racing project, which ceased last year after pushing the development of a production bio-diesel engine to the limits of its potential in a prototype sportscar.

Dawson's Taurus Racing was the first to race a diesel engine at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Libra Racing's LMP2 class racer features a petrol powerplant in the form of the IES Nissan V8, also a production engine, mated to a Radical SR9 chassis.

With the program moving forward, an announcement will be made soon about a new team sponsor to proudly display its name on the currently black and yellow-liveried, open-cockpit Le Mans Prototype.

-source: libra racing

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Andrew Prendeville , Harri Toivonen , Peter Dempsey