NA-F2000: Dana LaLiberte Motorsports Indy Grand Prix report

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PRESS RELEASE CONTACT: John Peckham FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 7, 1997 e-mail address:johnp@umich.edu LaLiberte ...

PRESS RELEASE CONTACT: John Peckham FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 7, 1997 e-mail address:johnp@umich.edu

LaLiberte Finishes Eleventh in SCCA Indy Grand Prix

INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- Dana LaLiberte finished 11th in Sunday's SCCA Indy Grand Prix on the 2.5 mile Indianapolis Raceway Park road course. Driving his Dana LaLiberte Motorsports Van Diemen Formula Ford 2000 racing car, LaLiberte was fortunate to finish after suffering severe handling problems in the race's second half.

After qualifying 10th on Saturday, LaLiberte started the day optimistically.

"I should have qualified better , but I never put together the lap I really wanted. We were only a second from where we should have been, though, so I knew that we were going to do better today (Sunday)," recalls LaLiberte.

The first laps of the race went well for LaLiberte, and he was able to move up and hold his ground in 7th position. Unfortunately, an early red flag, brought out to clear an accident from the track, changed the race for LaLiberte. As the race re-started, the handling on his Van Diemen changed dramatically, and he had to fight hard to simply hold his position. In the remaining laps, only four cars were able to squeeze past LaLiberte, who was driving as defensively as his uncooperative car would allow.

"When the race re-started, I was staying with the group of cars ahead of me, trying to save my tires for the end. Unfortunately, the car developed a horrible push and it was all I could do to keep the car on the track...it wanted to go straight at every corner. I was really lucky to keep everyone behind me as long as I did, as I had to slow so much more for the corners so that the car wouldnt push right off the track."

Derek Branch, a friend of LaLiberte, as well as an experienced Indy car mechanic and fabricator, was at the track to offer encouragement.

"Dana did well for what for as bad as that car was handling," comments Branch. "I have never seen a car push that bad. Many drivers simply would have quit."

The race was won by Dave Wietzenhof of Bath, OH. LaLiberte's 11th place finish is his third consecutive top-fifteen finish in a SCCA National race, and gives him momentum heading into August's United States Formula Ford 2000 National Championship race at Mid-Ohio.

Final Results for SCCA Indy Grand Prix Formula Ford 2000 July 6th Indianapolis Raceway Park Indianapolis, IN

PLACE DRIVER HOMETOWN

1 Dave Wietzenhof Bath, OH 2 Jeff Shafer Indianapolis, IN 3 Scott Rubenzer Brookfield, WI 4 David Rutledge Vancouver, CAN 5 K. W. Scott III Plainfield, IN 6 Jeremy Fox Malvern, OH 7 Calvin Stewart Novi, MI 8 Ron Thomas Galena, OH 9 Craig Keller Cherry Valley, IL 10 Bill Jordan Waterford, MI 11 Dana LaLiberte Ann Arbor, MI 12 Warren White Mishawaka, IN 13 Jerry Weida II West Lafayette, IN 14 Jason Bach Toledo, OH 15 Mark Dickens White Lake, MI 16 Don Young Chicago Heights,IL 17 Ken Johnson Lynn, IN 18 Fred Hasselbrink Indianapolis, IN 19 Mark Defer Streetsboro, OH 20 D. W. Bleke Whiteland, IN 21 Jon Herb Chicago, IL 22 James Mills Marshall, IL 23 Steve Thomson Richfield, MN

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Dana LaLiberte jmfangio@umich.edu Dana LaLiberte Motorsports http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jmfangio Ann Arbor, Michigan Kalamazoo, Michigan Car #98 US FF2000 National Championship

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