LIBERTY MOTORSPORTS ENDS SEASON WITH USF2000 PODIUM FINISH
Rookie standouts Serralles and Powers give Illinois squad three top-fives in season-finale doubleheader at Road Atlanta
BRASELTON, GA. (October 5, 2010) - Liberty Motorsports ended its inaugural season of full-time pro competition in fine fashion this past Thursday and Friday (September 30-October 1), standing on the podium and earning three top-five results in the season-finale doubleheader of the Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda at Road Atlanta. Rookie standout Felix Serralles finished an impressive second in only his third-ever series race in Round 14 and added a fifth place in Round 13, while fellow rookie star Matthew Powers was a strong fourth in race one and 10th in race two.
For Liberty Motorsports, the USF2000 National Championship season-finale at Road Atlanta marked the ideal opportunity to end the 2010 race season on high note. While both Serralles and Powers had limited experience entering the Petit Le Mans event - Serralles running his second-ever series event and Powers contesting only his fifth-ever racing event - the high-speed nature of the 2.5-mile road course suited both racers and the Illinois-based team. That certainly proved to be the case early on, as Serralles posted the second quickest time in the opening practice run.
When the lone qualifying session for the doubleheader got underway on Thursday morning, expectations were therefore high for both the Liberty Motorsports crew and drivers. Unfortunately things did not go as planned for both Serralles and Powers. Initially it appeared as though Serralles would contend for the pole position, battling for the fastest time on a wet but drying track. It was not to be however, as on lap four he slid off-course and impacted the tire barrier. In addition to ending his session, the drying track meant everyone else's times improved as the track dried out, giving Seralles a ninth place position on the grid. For Powers, the tricky conditions meant he was unable to post the desired times in the session, ending up seventh on the timing monitors. Despite the results, both drivers remained confident they had the cars and skill to move forward come race time later in the day
When the green flag waved for Round 13, both Serralles and Powers promptly showed their continued confidence was justified. Piloting the rapidly repaired No. 14 SS Discount Tire of Haines City Florida/Liberty Motorsports Van Diemen, Serralles immediately worked his way forward to fight for third place, while his Liberty Motorsports teammate followed right behind, dicing among the top-five. Running back-to-back all the way to the stripe, the duo ultimately took the checkered flag in fourth and fifth. The order however was reversed shortly after the completion of 19 lap race, with Powers' No. 41 Ghilotti Brothers/Liberty Motorsports Van Diemen being promoted to fourth ahead of his teammate, after Serralles was penalized one position for passing a backmarker under a yellow flag.
Returning to Road Atlanta one day later, the fans on-hand were greeted to a Liberty Motorsports car on the front-row for Round 14, with Serralles lining-up P2 having impressively turned the second quickest race lap in his repaired car during race one of the doubleheader. The newly named Team USA Scholarship winner promptly made the most of his starting position, challenging for top honors. Serralles best chance to take over the top spot came on a lap 13 re-start, with the series champion narrowly holding off two spirited attacks from the Liberty Motorsports racer.
Not far behind, it initially appeared that Powers would also enjoy another solid outing behind the wheel, once again battling for positions among the top-five. Unfortunately luck was not on the Californian's side, as an unexpected electrical failure halted his race prematurely in turn six, giving him tenth place in the final results.
Spirits remained high in the Liberty Motorsports pits however, as Serralles held station in second until the checkered flag waved, giving the highly-rated squad a well deserved podium finish in its final race of the season.
"Our team's performance at Atlanta was a great way to end a successful first season in the USF2000 National Championship," commented Chuck Lessick, Liberty Motorsports Team Manager. "Working with capable young upcoming talents like Seralles and Powers is what our team is all about. This year we have shown that we are a team capable of running up-front and producing results. Now the preparation begins for next season's run at the championship, and we believe we're up to the challenge."
With its 2010 pro season now complete, Liberty Motorsports immediately begins planning and organizing for the upcoming 2011 campaign. The talented Illinois squad plans on returning to the Cooper Tires presents the USF2000 National Championship powered by Mazda next year, with the goal of challenging for race wins and the championship title.