Two podiums for Comprent at Lime Rock. Athens, GA. - Charlie Shears (Houston, TX) and Jonathan Gore (Franklin, TN) have both scored a podium a piece in IMSA Lites at Lime Rock Park, Connecticut, for the North East Grand Prix. It was a dream...
Two podiums for Comprent at Lime Rock.
Athens, GA. - Charlie Shears (Houston, TX) and Jonathan Gore (Franklin, TN) have both scored a podium a piece in IMSA Lites at Lime Rock Park, Connecticut, for the North East Grand Prix.
It was a dream return for Charlie and the US Builders car after missing the last two rounds of the Championship. Jonathan looked set to make it two podiums for the weekend, but after starting Round 8 from pole, and while coming second, crashed trying to navigate around fellow Comprent teammate David Ducote (New Orleans, LA). 2008 IMSA Lites 2 Champion Tom Drewer had a "frustrating" weekend but continued to collect points to move to 5th in the Lites 1 Championship standings.
The weekend consistently saw Comprent drivers at the pointy end of the field over Round's 7 & 8 of the 2009 IMSA Lites Championship presented by Frisby Performance Tire.
Comprent drivers filled three of the top five spots in Round 7 with Jonathan finishing third, Charlie, fourth and Australian Tom Drewer fifth.
The trio battled it out, wheel to wheel for the majority of the race, each putting in sterling drives. Jonathan and Tom came through the pack from 13th and 10th respectively, Tom passing 6th placed starter Charlie Shears before the first corner. However, it was Jonathan Gore, in his Foretravel Motorcoach car, who got the best of both of them to claim his second podium (3rd) of the season.
Comprent owner, Kevin Klopfer was thrilled with the Round 7 result.
"Congratulations to Jonathan, that was an inspired drive from thirteenth on the grid, and the fastest lap of the race and pole for race two. Not a bad effort from Tom either considering he started tenth."
That was pretty hairy for a while. I didn't think I was going to be able to feed my children this week.
Those three, Gore, Shears and Drewer, were really racing hard. They we're racing with a lot of respect for each other, but weren't prepared to give an inch. They must have all touched going into Turn 1 more than twice. What a race."
Fellow Comprent drivers, Wayne and David Ducote (New Orleans, LA) finished Round 7 eleventh and twelfth respectively in their red, black and white Park1 sponsored machines.
Jonathan looked set to improve on his third place in Round 8 after starting from the pole, but disaster struck mid-way through the race for the Foretravel Motorcoach car as he tried to lap team-mate David Ducote at the Up-Hill Chicane.
"I made a mistake. I wanted to clear David as quickly as possible, but in hindsight I shouldn't have done it there. I thought he was going to move over, but to be fair he didn't have anywhere to go with those big tire bundles on the curbs.
I should have been first or second this afternoon. I know that, but I'm pleased with this morning's podium and the fact we bounced back from New Jersey."
Again starting tenth, Tom Drewer quickly tagged on the back of Shears and the pair tagged onto the back of the leaders. But on lap 7 Tom suffered a setback.
"I was really happy with my start, everything was going to plan. Then heading around the last corner the left-rear corner began to squat. Initially I radioed in thinking I had a flat tire. I pushed on but my pace began to drop and I fell away from Charlie.
I thought something had broken something in the rear suspension. I kept pushing on, but the rear kept falling over. I had constant opposite lock. It was like driving a sprint-car.
It was really frustrating because we only managed 7th and I should have finished behind Charlie for third. Another big points haul though and I believe we've moved up to fifth in the Championship."
Post race inspection revealed extremely heavy blistering on both rear tyres of Tom's Daily Planet machine. It has not been yet determined whether this was the cause or affect of the miss-handing car.
Nothing got in the way of Charlie Shears and his yellow and blue US Builders car. He pushed hard and came through Round 8 unscathed to record his best finish for 2009.
Jonathan's demise and a coming together between Championship points' leaders Joel Fienberg and Matt Downs opened the door for Charlie's first 2nd place and podium of the season.
"This is great. After the disaster at Sebring and missing the last two rounds this is excellent. It's great to be back and back on the podium. I just want to thank all the Comprent boys, especially Kenny and Kevin."
With David Ducote out after the incident with Jonathan, it was left to David Ducote to fly the Park1/ Ducote Racing flag in Round 8 and he finished just outside the top ten, in twelfth.
Comprent next heads to Road America for the Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase featuring the American Le Mans Series at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, August 14-16.