Lites: Sebring preview

IMSA LITES PRESENTED BY HANKOOK SEBRING PREVIEW SEBRING, Fla. March 11 -- The IMSA Lites presented by Hankook kicks off rounds one and two of the 2008 season at the Mobil1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 13th. With three classes racing at once,...

IMSA LITES PRESENTED BY HANKOOK SEBRING PREVIEW

SEBRING, Fla. March 11 -- The IMSA Lites presented by Hankook kicks off rounds one and two of the 2008 season at the Mobil1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 13th.

With three classes racing at once, the IMSA Lites series is truly a testing ground for drivers looking to move up the sports car ladder. Jonathan Goring, who was fastest at the Sebring winter test, is one of those drivers.

"I built my reputation in open wheel, so I felt like it was time to move into sports cars," said Goring. "I want to open doors for 2009 and beyond. I would like the opportunity to drive for teams."

Goring will face stiff competition from returning Lites One drivers Charlie Shears and Matt Downs. Downs is joined at the Sebring event by his two brothers Antonio and Lucas.

Another newcomer in the Lites One class is Jonathan Gore. "I chose the IMSA Lites series because it was a viable step to take for my career," Gore said. "I wanted to progress to a more aerodynamic car." Gore is racing with Inspire Motorsports.

PVM Racing returns to defend the Lites Two championship with four drivers. Eric Vassian, PVM Racing owner, will lead the charge to another championship. He is joined by Tom Drewer, Jim Garrett and Bill Chapman. Drewer moved to the United States in January after competing for West Race Cars in Australia.

Chris Funk, who won round two of the 2007 season at Sebring, returns in 2008 hoping to capture the Lites Two championship he missed by just eight points last year.

The Lites Two class features the West Race Cars WR 1000 chassis. This smaller and lighter weight prototype features state of the art semi-monocoque frame which shelters the driver in a 1" thick monocoque tub for driver safety and stability. Shifting is controlled by an F1 inspired electronic paddle shift system. The WR 1000 is powered by a purpose-built Kawasaki ZX 1000cc race motor that can rev up to 12,000 rpm and develops 174 hp.

Built on the Elan Motorsports Technologies DP-02 chassis, the Lites One cars premiere high-tech purpose-built race cars are designed to develop the more advanced drivers. The DP-02 features a carbon-fiber monocoque chassis, a six-speed sequential gearbox and a full aerodynamic package. The DP-02 is powered by a 2.3-liter, four-cylinder Mazda MP2 engine, sealed by Elan Motorsports.

The Lites Three class uses the Elan / Van Diemen DP-06 chassis This Formula SCCA car is a well developed entry-level race car. The DP-06 features a multi-tubular steel space frame extensively braced in the cockpit and footwell areas. It is powered by a 2.3-liter four-cylinder Mazda MZR engine that develops 170hp.

-credit: imsa

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Series IMSA Others
Drivers Jonathan Goring , Matt Downs , Charlie Shears , Eric Vassian , Jonathan Gore , Tom Drewer