Comprent finishes IMSA Lites season spraying champagne. Drewer and Shears claim two more Petit Le Mans podiums for Comprent Motor Sports at season finale. Comprent Motor Sports has finished its 2009 IMSA Lites 1 campaign in style with...
Comprent finishes IMSA Lites season spraying champagne.
Drewer and Shears claim two more Petit Le Mans podiums for Comprent Motor Sports at season finale.
Comprent Motor Sports has finished its 2009 IMSA Lites 1 campaign in style with drivers Tom Drewer and Charlie Shears taking a podium a piece in the final two championship races at the 12th Annual Petit Le Mans event.
It is the second year in a row Comprent drivers have taken to the podium at Road Atlanta after Jonathan Goring won both races last year, on his way to winning the 2008 drivers' title.
With their workshop only an hour away from the Braselton circuit in Athens, Georgia the reigning 2008 IMSA Lites Team Champions were hoping to be hometown heroes and they didn't disappoint.
All five Comprent cars showed pace throughout the Petit Le Mans week and while adversity took its toll, Comprent cars were consistently up near the top of the timesheets and took home two trophies.
Australian Tom Drewer (Adelaide, AUS) began his Road Atlanta campaign extremely strong on the fast undulating 2.54 mile circuit with his Ubantu Resort sponsored car second fastest until the dying seconds of qualifying, when he was bumped to fourth.
Perhaps this was to be expected given he won both Petit races last year in the Lites 2 category, nevertheless it was impressive for the young Aussie's second ever Road Atlanta race outing.
In the race Tom elevated himself to second, behind Canadian Kyle Marcelli. Initially the pair were part of a train of cars covering the top-ten but soon they broke way from the pack, pushing each other to finish more than 20 seconds clear of the third placed finisher.
It was Tom Drewer's first podium of the year, his first in the Lites 1 category and Comprent's second second-place for 2009.
Uncharacteristically qualifying back in tenth on the grid, Charlie Shears (Houston, TX) pushed hard to carve his way up to 4th position in the yellow and blue US Builders car.
The hard charger of Round 13 though was Comprent's Jonathan Gore (Franklin, TN). Due to personal commitments Jonathan could only spend Thursday and Friday at Road Atlanta. Furthermore technical difficulty with the Foretravel Motorcoach car prevented Jonathan from doing more than 1 lap in qualifying.
Starting 24th on the grid, Jonathan drove perhaps the race start of his career, passing over ten cars before completing lap one. But he wasn't done and continued to pick off cars as the race progressed finishing in 8th position, the third Comprent car home.
David Ducote (Houston, TX) had one of his best qualifying performances of the season to put his Park1/Waskey Bridge car inside the top-ten, in 8th position. David attributed his performance to the solid work put in by the Comprent team, driver coach Andrew Davis and himself during two days of testing prior to the Petit Le Mans week.
Unfortunately for David his qualifying effort was not rewarded and his race ended on lap 4 when an off-track excursion resulted in damage to both a front fender and front splitter.
Round 13 also proved to be an unlucky for David's father Wayne (New Orleans, LA). Starting well down as a result of a mechanical gremlin Wayne got off to a good start but contact with a fellow competitor resulted in a pit stop putting him 3 laps down.
Round 14, the final race of the 2009 IMSA Lites season showed again just how strong the Comprent team is, and this time it was Charlie Shear's time to shine. Starting from 8th on the grid, Shears continued to find speed around the Road Atlanta circuit lap after lap, keeping out of trouble to progress up to third.
Charlie had the leaders in check the entire race and finished only 3.8 seconds behind race winner Matt Downs. It was Charlie's second podium for the season after taking 2nd at Lime Rock earlier this year.
Tom Drewer started from the front row of the grid after setting the second fastest time of Race 1, only 6 thousands of a second behind the pole time. He again pushed hard from the start and slotted into second position, but then Kyle Marcelli attempted a pass around the outside into turn 10 and the two cars touched. It was nothing more than a racing incident but it left Tom beached in the gravel while the entire field went through.
Not one to give up, and despite being nearly an entire lap down, the 2008 IMSA Lites 2 Champion showed his true fighting spirit and reeled off lap- times faster than that of the leaders and the eventual podium getters. Setting the second fastest lap of the race, the Comprent driver picked off 10 cars but eventually ran out of laps.
David Ducote bounced back to finish the year strongly, and again showed the same sort of pace he had in qualifying, going from 16 on the grid to 9th.
Wayne Ducote's luck didn't change however. His final race really ended before it had even begun. Heading through turn 1 for the first time, a car spun in front of Wayne who in turn spun to avoid contact before getting t- boned by Dan Weyland. This left the number 3 car up against the wall with heavy damage.
But even with the heartache of seeing Wayne's Park1/Waskey Bridge car in the wall, Comprent Motor Sports had two many reasons not to celebrate. Two races resulting in two podiums by two different drivers, and a blisteringly fast pace displayed by the team all Petit weeklong.
Like in 2008, Comprent finished the 2009 IMSA Lites 1 Championship season spraying Champagne from the podium, and it had team owner Kevin Kloepfer grinning from ear to ear.
"It has been a big year for Comprent, and a very successful one. Fielding five cars for most of the IMSA Lites events has been a big effort and I am extremely proud of all the team members- the engineers, mechanics and everyone involved. We have successfully backed up our Driver and Team Championship winning year in 2008 with three of our drivers in the top 10 of the Championship, taking 6 podium finishes in total, and 2 pole positions.
Congratulations to Charlie and Tom for their podiums on the weekend and Jonathan, David and Wayne for a fantastic season."