Halfway mark of 2013 Season approaches with Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix
BRASELTON, Ga., (July 16, 2013) - Every race counts in the 14-round Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda season, and every turn will count as drivers take to the famous Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The intimidating, fast course demands full focus of participants on every corner.
Only one point separates first and second place in the Lites L-1 class as the first half of the season comes to a close with the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix featuring the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) this weekend.
Mikhail Goikhberg of JDC Motorsports won Race One at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2012
Drivers and teams cross the border for two practice sessions, qualifications and a 30-minute sprint Saturday, July 20, followed by a 45-minute race Sunday, July 21.
Two Canadians return to their stomping grounds for round seven of the 2013 season. Guy Laporte, a native of Montreal, Quebec and Michal Chlumecky of Windsor, Ontario both made their debuts in the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda Series at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and return for more action at the 2.459-mile, 10-turn road course.
In the overall standings, Comprent Motor Sports' Sean Rayhall has a slight edge over Mikhail Goikhberg of JDC Motorsports for the lead after winning round six at Mid-Ohio SportsCar Course. Goikhberg won and placed second in the two rounds at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last year, and will aim to repeat that performance in hopes of ousting Rayhall in the standings. Rayhall won't go down without a fight, as he demonstrated at Mid-Ohio when he battled back from 13th place to win after a rough start.
Tristan Nunez (16) won last year at Mosport in Lites L1 and now runs in the American Le Mans Series.
Performance Tech currently leads the team championship, with five podium finishes and 108 total points. Seven points behind the Florida-based team is Comprent Motor Sports.
Leading the way for Performance Tech is Ryan Booth, driving the No. 18 Lites L1 Elan DP02 2.0L Mazda. Booth has clinched two victories this season and two second-place finishes for Performance Tech. The Charleston, S.C.-native recently gained some professional experience, driving the team's PC car at Lime Rock with former Lites standout Tristan Nunez and finished third in his class.
Level 5 Motorsports' Scott Tucker also saw success in ALMS at Lime Rock with a P2 victory. Tucker is fourth in the Masters Class standings this year and has garnered two wins this season, both at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Fellow Masters Championship contender Jon Brownson jumped into the top five overall standings after a third-place finish at Mid-Ohio SportsCar Course. The Eurosport racing driver is pulling away with the Masters Championship, well ahead of all other contenders in the points. The Breckenridge, Colo., resident will look to find the podium again at the storied Canadian circuit after placing second in 2012.
One driver makes his debut in the L-2 category this weekend in Miquel Benitez with Ansa Motorsports, running the No. 13 L2 Elan DP02 2.3L Mazda.
So far fans have seen young drivers with professional-level talent compete for the top step of the podium, and gentlemen drivers with the guts to race side-by-side rookies in the front of the pack. Round six and seven of the 2013 season will be just as pressure-packed.
The Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda Series starts its engines for two practice sessions Friday, July 19. Qualifications take place Saturday, July 20 at 8:45 a.m. ET, with the green flag dropping in Race One at 5:10 p.m. ET. Race Two is set for Sunday, July 21 at 8:10 a.m.