Lites: Series Road Atlanta rounds 14, 15 preview

LITES 2 CHAMPIONSHIP COMES DOWN TO THE LAST EVENT AT ROAD ATLANTA BRASELTON, GEORGIA (September 23, 2010) -- The Lites 2 battle will come down to the final race, as two drivers duke it out for the top spot in the class in Rounds 14 and 15 of...

LITES 2 CHAMPIONSHIP COMES DOWN TO THE LAST EVENT AT ROAD ATLANTA

BRASELTON, GEORGIA (September 23, 2010) -- The Lites 2 battle will come down to the final race, as two drivers duke it out for the top spot in the class in Rounds 14 and 15 of the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship at Road Atlanta's Petit Le Mans.

Rookie Lee Alexander, driving the #23 Factory 48 Motorsports/APE Raceparts West WX10, has traded the point lead with last year's champion, John Weisberg (#75 BERG Motorsports/REDCOM) throughout the season. Alexander won the first race of the season at Sebring, only to see Weisberg take the next three race victories. But mid-season mechanical gremlins in his West WR1000 saw Weisberg fall from the top spot. But with the mandatory two race drop of points, going into Road Atlanta, Weisberg is only five points behind with Jim Garrett (#42 WEST Racing/SpeedPromo) third.

The drivers will deal with the one of the largest and most experienced fields of the year at Road Atlanta, with 14 Lites 1 cars and seven Lites 2 cars on the track.

"I think I'm the only guy in the class who hasn't been on this track!" said Alexander. "I'll have to get up to speed pretty quick, so we'll make sure the car is as prepped as it can be and as reliable as it can be. And try to keep my nose clean, keep the car in one piece and be consistent.

"Things can change so fast when you have that many cars on the track. At the last race at Mosport, the enduro, even though we had a stop-and-go penalty after the pit stop, we still came out in front of John. But the yellows can change everything, so I don't know what to expect, I just have to stay in front, or stay with him, wherever I am and just hope for the best. It's been fun racing against John, he has a lot of experience and race craft, with how he manages traffic, all that stuff that's as important, if not more important, than just being all out fast. I don't have to win the races, but I feel as though I haven't legitimately beaten John this season, with all his mechanical issues. So as a personal goal, I would like to do that. "

Weisberg hopes that the two races at Road Atlanta are free of those mechanical problems, freeing him to really go racing. Because of those issues, 2010 certainly wasn't the season he expected.

"Your expectations going into the season are always to win every race and have the championship sown up halfway and enjoy the rest of the season!" said Weisberg. "But mechanical issues through no fault of the team have really been plaguing us. It really hurt us in New Jersey, then again at Road America and finally was resolved at Mosport. So thankfully, that's resolved, now we can work on making the car handle better, instead of just making it run.

"We're excited, and a little nervous, going in to Road Atlanta, because all these issues have really created an uphill road for us. It's been some good racing with Lee this year - on tracks that we're both used to, like Laguna Seca, we've had some really close racing. But I haven't driven Road Atlanta for years.

"I really need to be as aggressive as I can I need to win both races and have someone between myself and Lee. If I can do that in the first race, it will make it a lot easier in the second race. If I don't beat him in the first race, I've got a huge hurdle to overcome in the second race. But the way this season has been, so up and down, it could go either way. I've had races where I've had a comfortable lead, then a mechanical issue puts me at the back of the pack. Hopefully, those days are over."

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.

The Championship concludes with Rounds 14 and 15 at the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, September 29 through October 2. Follow along on the race weekend at www.litestiming.com, on Facebook and Twitter and visit www.prototypelites.com for the latest schedule and updates.

-source: imsa

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