Lites: Series Utah rounds 7, 8 preview

SHEARS LEADS CHAMPIONSHIP, DOWNS LOOKS TO CONTINUE SUCCESS IN UTAH TOOELE, UTAH JULY 6 The battle for the championship of the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship continues in Rounds 7 and 8 at the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand...

SHEARS LEADS CHAMPIONSHIP, DOWNS LOOKS TO CONTINUE SUCCESS IN UTAH

TOOELE, UTAH JULY 6 The battle for the championship of the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship continues in Rounds 7 and 8 at the Larry H. Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsports Park.

Charlie Shears, driving the #21 Inspire Motorsports/US Builders Elan DP-02, extended his Championship lead with a victory and a third place in New Jersey. In 95 degree F heat and humidity in New Jersey, he conserved his tires in qualifying and passed boss and polesitter Jonathan Bennett (#54 Inspire Motorsports/Composite Resources) with two laps to go in Round 5. Round 6 saw Matt Downs take his #12 Eurosport Racing/Hormel Bacon Bits Elan DP-02 home for his first win of the season.

While Downs hopes to repeat his success here last year (earning a win and a third place finish in the two Rounds at Utah in 2009), he doesn't expect to be the fastest Downs on the track.

"I enjoy driving the outer loop course at Miller Motorsport Park, it's really a first class facility," says Downs. "That being said, I don't expect to be the fastest Eurosport driver, as my brother Lucas is typically faster than me here!"

In Lites 2, John Weisberg and Lee Alexander swapped positions all weekend with Alexander (#23 Factory 48 Motorsports West WX10) taking Round 5 and Weisberg (#75 BERG Racing/REDCOM West WR1000) putting a late race pass on Alexander for the Round 6 win. Weisberg holds a slim three point lead on Alexander in the Championship - which is sure to change, as Weisberg is not entered in Utah.

Two promoter test sessions for Lites will be held on Thursday, July 8, with two more practice sessions on Friday. Qualifying will begin on Saturday, at 8:00 am. The green flag will drop for Round 7 at 1:00 pm, with Round 8 on Sunday at 12:45 pm.

The Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship features racing between two sports racer prototype classes, Lites 1 and Lites 2, presenting a dimension of competition as drivers must be aware of classes with distinctly different speeds as they navigate the race track. This is the same challenge faced by the drivers of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron.

Miller Motorsports Park is a state-of-the-art road racing facility for automobiles, motorcycles and karts located just 35 minutes from downtown Salt Lake City in Tooele, Utah. Opened in 2006, Miller Motorsports Park hosts many of the world's most significant racing series. Miller Motorsports Park is unique in that it offers spectators almost 100% sightlines of the entire track from any viewing location, while providing up-close viewing of prime race-action zones.

The Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship continues July 23 - 24, with Rounds 9 and 10 held in conjunction with the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut.

-source: imsa

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About this article
Series IMSA Others
Drivers John Weisberg , Lee Alexander , Matt Downs , Charlie Shears , Jon Bennett
Teams BERG Racing