Liberty Motorsports Road America race report

TOP-10S FOR LIBERTY MOTORSPORTS USF2000 ROOKIES AT ROAD AMERICA Powers and Serralles show good speed and skill at high-speed Wisconsin road course ELKHART LAKE, WIS. (August 24, 2010) - Liberty Motorsports enjoyed a solid return to its home...

TOP-10S FOR LIBERTY MOTORSPORTS USF2000 ROOKIES AT ROAD AMERICA
Powers and Serralles show good speed and skill at high-speed Wisconsin road course

ELKHART LAKE, WIS. (August 24, 2010) - Liberty Motorsports enjoyed a solid return to its home track of Road America over the weekend (August 21-22), as the Illinois-based team earned three top-10 finishes during the Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda doubleheader. Californian Matthew Powers - in only his third-ever formula car event - recovered from a broken half-shaft in Round Nine to finish a strong six in Round 10, while Felix Serralles - in his series debut with Liberty Motorsports - added ninth and eighth place results in the doubleheader.

Given the lack of Formula Ford 2000 experience behind the wheel by both Liberty Motorsports drivers, the goal early on during the USF2000 doubleheader at Road America was to steadily build speed while working on the ideal car balance for the high-speed 4.0-mile road course. This was particularly important for Serralles, as the talented young driver from Puerto Rico was making his series debut, having recently joined Liberty Motorsports for the final four rounds of the USF2000 National Championship. Things unfortunately did not go according to plan for Serralles during the Thursday testing and Friday practice runs. Battling a high-speed misfire, the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Driver was limited to only a few flying laps in the four sessions. Powers however kept the team morale up, ending up with the fifth quickest time ahead of qualifying.

In what proved to be a learning experience for both Powers and Serralles, qualifying featured neither driver posting the sort of times desired, primarily due to a lack of drafting partners, which is vital for a quick lap around the famed Wisconsin road course. Powers as a result ended up with the seventh best time, while Serralles was 11th fastest.

Following some quick discussions with the Liberty Motorsports crew, focusing on any changes to the cars, and going over race strategy, it was time to get back behind the wheel on Saturday afternoon for race one of the doubleheader.

Getting good launches at the waving of the green flag, both drivers appeared poised to work their way up the timing charts. Powers' charge forward however ended after just one lap, when the half-shaft on his No. 41 Liberty Motorsports Van Diemen broke exiting Canada Corner. All was not lost though, as Serralles showed good speed in his inaugural USF2000 race, working his way into the top-10. Serralles promptly ended his Liberty Motorsports debut in a solid ninth place.

With each driver's fast time from the race one setting the grid for race two of the doubleheader, the Liberty Motorsports duo lined-up ninth (Serralles) and 13th (Powers) for Round 10 on Sunday morning.

Well aware that the long Road America straights and hard braking zones provided the perfect opportunity to make passes for position, both Powers and Serralles focused on running mistake-free lap after lap. This approach certainly paid off, as Powers soon found himself challenging for a top-five position, with Serralles' No. 14 SS Discount Tire of Haines City Florida/Liberty Motorsports entry not far behind. Showing good speed and racecraft all the way to the stripe, Powers finished sixth - earning the Tilton Hard Charger award - and Serralles finished eighth.

Liberty Motorsports will now have a brief break, before concluding its inaugural 2010 pro campaign on with the Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda season-finale doubleheader on September 30-October 1, at Road America.

-source: liberty motorsports

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Series USF2000