Lites: Sebring round two race notes

MATT DOWNS CAPTURES ENDURANCE RACE WIN AT SEBRING SEBRING, Fla. March 15 -- Matt Downs, Butterfield, Minn., started first and finished first in the 75- minute round two of the IMSA Lites presented by Frisby Performance Tire at Sebring ...

MATT DOWNS CAPTURES ENDURANCE RACE WIN AT SEBRING

SEBRING, Fla. March 15 -- Matt Downs, Butterfield, Minn., started first and finished first in the 75- minute round two of the IMSA Lites presented by Frisby Performance Tire at Sebring International Raceway.

The race was not an easy one for Downs, who was passed on the first lap by Kyle Marcelli, Barrie, Ontario, and round one winner, Joel Feinberg, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Downs was consistent the first half of the race and credited his win to a great car.

"Kyle had some mechanical problems and my car never went away. My grandma could have driven this thing," Downs explained. "I spun coming onto the front straight and I thought I was done. I didn't know if I was going to take tires before the spin. I'm glad I spun before the pit stop so I made the decision to take tires."

When the mandatory five-minute pit stops were complete Gary Gibson, Riverwoods, Ill., was in third place behind Marcelli. Gibson capitalized on Marcelli's mechanical problems and moved into second place.

"I was close to the leaders and then spun," Gibson said. "I caught the guy in front of me and tried to set him up. I tried too hard coming out of the chicane and spun and lost one spot." Lucas Downs finished third after passing his brother Antonio on the next to last lap. Antonio finished fourth.

The Lites Two finish came down to the wire when John Weisberg, Webster, N.Y., passed Michael Hill, Bedford, N.Y., on the final lap.

"We got side by side coming out of 16 and we were side by side going down the whole back straight," Weisberg said. "I got him under braking going into 17 and carried my speed through 17."

Weisberg's victory was a hard earned one. His Berg Racing crew changed engines three times this weekend. Before the start of round two he had only made six laps.

Chris Doyle, Westminster, Colo., took the Lites Three victory.

IMSA Lites presented by Frisby Performance Tire competitors will have two months to prepare for rounds three and four at Miller Motorsports Park May 15-17.

-credit: imsa

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Series IMSA Others
Drivers John Weisberg , Joel Feinberg , Chris Doyle , Lucas Downs , Michael Hill , Kyle Marcelli , Matt Downs , Gary Gibson