Lites: Tom Drewer news 2009-10-29

Drewer sets sights on Prototypes for 2010 after testing LMP Challenge car. Australian racing driver Tom Drewer has his sights firmly set on a prototype drive for 2010 after testing the V8 powered Courage Oreca LMP Challenge car that will be ...

Drewer sets sights on Prototypes for 2010 after testing LMP Challenge car.

Australian racing driver Tom Drewer has his sights firmly set on a prototype drive for 2010 after testing the V8 powered Courage Oreca LMP Challenge car that will be competing in the American Le Mans Series next year.

Drewer is in discussions with his current team, Comprent Motor Sports about driving a Challenge car next year. However, the determined and ambitious Drewer has also confirmed he has been approached by multiple ALMS Prototype teams too.

"I've been really busy since Petit Le Mans. The following day I was invited to test the new LMP Challenge car, and the following week two LMP1 teams contacted me about the 2010 season after seeing me race during the Petit week. Since then I have been to Monterey for discussions with multiple other ALMS teams and I've just got back from a very serious meeting with one of those teams.

I have some fantastic backers from Australia, including John Trimble and Ubantu Resort, and I'm currently seeking American partners solidify a prototype assault on the 2010 ALMS season. Offers of top-level drives mean I now really have something to offer those sponsors with the glamour, prestige and massive television exposure of the American Le Mans Series throughout the USA and the rest of the world.

The great thing is now high-level teams are calling me, rather than the other way around."

Following his test in the LMPC car Drewer feels he is ready to make transition to full-sized prototypes after driving in the IMSA Lites feeder category for the past two years.

"Finally getting the chance to drive a big prototype was fantastic. I felt extremely comfortable in it. It's really just like a big (IMSA) Lites 1 car. It was quite similar to my Ubantu Resort Élan DP-02 in terms of how it responded and reacted, even the grip versus power. Obviously it just had much, much more of both.

In some ways it was actually easier to drive. I'm used to using a fair bit of muscle to turn the Élan DP-02 in, particularly as we generally run a reasonable amount of caster to cure bump-steer. The LMPC was very light on the steering and very direct. It was a case of telling myself to slow my hands down in the high-speed corners.

But where the LMPC just has it all over the Lites 1 car is the Carbon- Carbon brakes, and the power and noise of the big Corvette sourced V8. Every lap into turn 10a at Road Atlanta I felt I could brake later and later. The stopping power is awesome, and there is just nothing like the sound of a V8.

I really think the ALMS is on a winner with the LMPC. Everyone I speak to in racing always reminisces about the good old Can-Am days. Big loud V8s in beautiful, sleek racing cars. They have captured this with the LMPC. I think the American public will love them, and they'll certainly relate to the powerplant. I can't wait to get back in one or an out-right LMP car.

I'm determined to become Australia's next Le Mans winner. The next David Brabham. I feel the last two years has prepared me well for an LMP or LMPC assault next year. I'm ready."

Drewer won the 2008 IMSA Lites 2 Championship in his first year of competition in North America. He won ten from twelve races, all at circuits he had never driven on. This led to Australia's AutoAction magazine proclaiming Drewer the 'Best Overseas Rookie' for 2008 and Wheels Magazine putting Drewer in their 'Hot Half-Dozen Watchlist'.

Drewer's performance in the faster Lites 1 category this year also captured the attention of Australia's motor racing press. World famous cartoonist John 'Stonie' Stoneham penciling Drewer in as a future Le Mans 24 Hour winner in one of his cartoons after Drewer qualified on pole for the New Jersey round of the championship. Drewer finished his 2009 IMSA Lites campaign on a high, taking a podium (2nd place) for the second year in a row during the Petit Le Mans event held last month at Road Atlanta.

-credit: tomdrewer.com

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IMSA Others
Drivers Tom Drewer