Comprent and Drewer return to the top of the time sheets in New Jersey. Comprent Motor Sports driver Tom Drewer (Adelaide, AUS) piloted his Daily Planet sponsored Elan DP-02 to the fastest Lites 1 lap of weekend at New Jersey Motorsport Park's...
Comprent and Drewer return to the top of the time sheets in New Jersey.
Comprent Motor Sports driver Tom Drewer (Adelaide, AUS) piloted his Daily Planet sponsored Elan DP-02 to the fastest Lites 1 lap of weekend at New Jersey Motorsport Park's Mazda Formula X event.
The young Australian, who won the 2008 IMSA Lites 2 Championship, proved he can match and beat the best of the Lites 1 category on Sunday as he set a new Qualifying Track Record around the 2.17 mile road course with a time unmatched for the weekend of 1 minute 15.327 seconds.
The pole position was Drewer's first for the year and his first in the Lites 1 category, since making the setup from Lites 2. It was also Comprent Motor Sport's first time on top of the IMSA Lites time sheets since last November when Jonathan Goring took pole at Laguna Seca and went on to claim both the 2008 IMSA Lites 1 Drivers' and Teams' Championships for Comprent.
The nail biting half hour session saw drivers Lucas Downs, Kyle Marcelli, Joel Feinberg and Johnny Meriggi trade fastest times with Drewer until the Aussie nailed a blistering lap in his Daily Planet machine to take the coveted pole position by a mere .022 of a second, with the top seven cars all within less than .8 of a second apart.
"Terry and the boys at Comprent just kept working away all weekend and I knew we had found a much better setup in Saturday's race but I just couldn't utilise it, getting stuck behind Meriggi for most of the race.
So I just gave it everything today (Sunday). I had the car on the edge for three laps in a row and dug ready deep. It was awesome to finally hear 'P1' on the radio in only my third race weekend of Lites 1. The amazing thing was it wasn't the perfect lap. I had a slight lock-up in turn 5 and that cost me a couple of tenths. I was likely on for a sub 1 minute 15 lap."
After claiming pole Drewer, who finished 5th in Saturday's Round 5 race, got off to a perfect start in Sunday's Round 6 and the Comprent prepared Daily Planet car dominated the first half of the race.
"I got a great start and was immediately able to pull a small gap on the field. It was fantastic to once again have nothing but clear track in front. The guys behind were pushing really hard but I just kept my head down and led, with a gap, right up until the full course yellow came out with around 20 minutes to go.
My car was starting to go off a little and I found it really difficult to keep the temperature in the tires with the pace car down to 35mph. Upon the restart I just couldn't seem to find the same grip as in the first half of the race and I slipped back to fourth. I continued to push hard to try but I just couldn't get the same pace out of the car.
It was frustrating to finish lower than what we started but I'm really happy we led a lot of laps today. We are very close to podiums and wins now.
I really must thank all the boys at Comprent Motor Sports, especially Kenny and Terry, for all their hard work this weekend. Their 'never-say-die' attitude is awesome. We are moving in the right direction and I can't wait to further reward this fantastic team."
It wasn't a perfect weekend for Comprent though, with both Drewer and his team-mate, Jonathan Gore, finding it difficult to match the pace early on in the weekend. While Drewer eventually found a sweet spot in the number 1 car, Gore's sessions were plagued by an illusive gremlin in the sealed Elan Power Products spec engine.
In the end it was an uncharacteristic weekend for Jonathan, and the Foretravel Motorcoarch number 24 car, after he scored Comprent's first podium finish for the year at the Utah Grand Prix, and until this weekend had been leading the charge for Comprent. Jonathan collected valuable points though, finishing Round 5 in 8th position and Round 6 in 11th and is still sitting extremely strongly in the Championship.
Comprent's Sean Rayhall also spent much of the New Jersey Mazda Formula X weekend up the front of the pack. Driving in the Skip Barber National Series, Sean topped the time sheets in Practice 2, finished 4th in Race 1 and 7th in Race 2.
Compent Motor Sport and IMSA Lites presented by Frisby Performance Tire next head to Lime Rock, Connecticut for the North East Grand Prix, July 17- 18, 2009.