Comprent ready for biggest assault yet on IMSA Lites title. Reigning IMSA Lites 1 Team Champions Comprent Motor Sports will field five cars at Rounds 1 & 2 of the 2009 IMSA Lites Championship, Presented by Frisby Performance Tire, to be held...
Comprent ready for biggest assault yet on IMSA Lites title.
Reigning IMSA Lites 1 Team Champions Comprent Motor Sports will field five cars at Rounds 1 & 2 of the 2009 IMSA Lites Championship, Presented by Frisby Performance Tire, to be held this weekend, the beginning of the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring Event.
The legendary Athens, Georgia, based team headed by Kevin Kloepfer ran two cars at last year's event, but for the majority of the season focused solely on preparing the season dominating car for 2008 Lites 1 Champion Jonathan Goring (Torrington, CT).
Ten race wins and what Kevin described as a "near perfect" season has attracted three star drivers to the Comprent outfit to spearhead the team's campaign alongside father and son duo Wayne and David Ducote (New Orleans, LA) who will compete with the team at selected rounds.
2008 IMSA Lites 2 Champion, Australian Tom Drewer (Adelaide, AUS), steps up to the Lites 1 category after a stellar first year of competition in North America. Without ever setting foot at any of the tracks last year Tom won ten rounds of the Lites 2 Championship including Round's 1 & 2 at the Sebring event, consistently mixing it with the fastest L1s and placing as high as second over-all.
"It's fantastic to be racing back here in America this year, and especially with Comprent. We ran up the front of the field last year, but this year I have the opportunity to win outright.
"Last year was a big learning curve for me. It was my first year racing in America and the circuits were all new. I came over here by myself and didn't know anyone. I feel much more comfortable heading into this season.
"There are a few familiar faces in the paddock and I feel right at home with Kevin and the Comprent boys. We watched each other winning last year, and it felt like a logical step in my progression toward American Le Mans to drive L1 with them."
Drewer will be running number 1 on the car this year signifying Comprent's 2008 team and drivers' Championship wins, and Drewer's win in the Lites 2 Drivers' Championship.
However, it isn't only Drewer who has the desire to give the Comprent team back-to-back championship wins.
Young American hot-shot Jonathan Gore (Franklin, TN), who placed 5th in his first year of L1 and was a podium finisher at the Petit Le Mans Round looks set to make 2009 his year, and hopes his initials are a good omen.
"Last year Comprent won with a JG. This year they have another- me. I'm not one for superstitions but I feel I'm ready to make 2009 mine and those initials another Drivers' Championship.
"2008 was my first year and I feel I have a really good knowledge base for this year. I think that, with my transition to Comprent has put me in a very good position to build on last year. I'm going for it this year."
The third driver spearheading Comprent's championship assault is long time racer and Real Estate Developer Charlie Sheers (Houston, TX). Charlie is attempting to take two titles this year, the outright Lites 1 Championship and the Masters' title.
Charlie progressed to Lites 1 in 2007 after running selected Lites 3 races in 2006. His podium at last year's Lime Rock race shows Charlie is a serious contender. Even after a series of mechanical failures last year Charlie still finished sixth in the 2008 Lites 1 Drivers' Championship. He expects with his move to Comprent will come the consistent reliability he's after.
"I am extremely excited racing with Comprent, their knowledge of the car and their support staff makes it a top of the line race team.
"I'm very happy with how pre-season testing has gone and the times suggest I'll be right there. I'll definitely give these young boys a run for their money."
Team owner Kevin Kloepfer also thinks he could have three potential Champions and possibly take out the top 5 at the Sebring Event.
"Charlie, Jonathan and Tom all share the same goal as we do- winning the Championship.
"We committed everything and worked extremely hard last year to win, and dominated with ten race wins. I know we are going to have to dig even deeper this year to make it two in a row, but I'm extremely impressed at the way the team, is working together, particularly the drivers.
"I think we could have all three drivers fighting for the Championship, and I know the competition will be strong so it's going to make for one exciting year.
"Certainly everyone in the team has the same aim, to win and win the Championship. Our goal is to be first, second and third all year regardless of the order. There will be no team orders.
"And, for Sebring, and I'm sure most of the rounds this year, we also have David and Wayne Ducote. Given the speed they show I think it could be possible to take all top five positions."
David Ducote is just as excited about his, his father's and the team's prospects.
"I won the Radical RS3 Cup and we're really enjoyed making the progression to IMSA Lites and the Élan DP-02.
"We're both hoping to do as many rounds as possible, but it seems our personal and business schedules have a habit of conflicting with the race weekends."
The 2008 IMSA Lites Presented by Frisby Performance Tire season begins at Sebring, Florida as part of the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring event. Round 1 is a 30 minute race to be held tomorrow, Saturday March 14, and Round 2 is a 1 hour 15 minute enduro to be held Sunday.