Gore leads Comprent home at Sebring. Jonathan Gore (Franklin, TN) was the highest placed Comprent Motor Sports driver in Round's 1 and 2 of the 2009 IMSA Lites Championship Presented by Frisby Performance Tire held as part of the 57th Mobil 1 ...
Gore leads Comprent home at Sebring.
Jonathan Gore (Franklin, TN) was the highest placed Comprent Motor Sports driver in Round's 1 and 2 of the 2009 IMSA Lites Championship Presented by Frisby Performance Tire held as part of the 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring event.
The Athens Georgia based team, who are reigning IMSA Lites 1 Team Champions, fielded five Elan DP-02s for the event.
Final practise saw Australian and 2008 Lites 2 Champion Tom Drewer (Adelaide, AUS) and his Daily Planet car the quickest of the Comprent squad, setting the 5th fastest time for the session.
But after qualifying it was Charlie Sheers (Houston, TX) who looked likely to be the highest finishing Comprent driver. The Texan piloted his US Builders sponsored machine to 6th on the grid, followed by Tom in 9th, Jonathan in 10th, and father and son duo Wayne and David Ducote (New Orleans, LA) in their Park One sponsored cars in 17th and 16th respectively. The beginning of race 1 saw three Comprent cars heading into turn 1 side-by-side and trading paint when both Tom and Jonathan got blinding starts to join Charlie further up the field.
"I was the meat in the sandwich," said Tom with smile.
"I thought my American team-mates where ganging up on me! But then again I don't expect them to give me an inch. All I could think, though, was three Comprent cars in the wall on the first lap of the season, so rather than being apart of that I feathered and let them go."
As the field settled down Charlie Sheers looked strong but disaster struck mid-race when the harsh bumps of the Sebring circuit caused an issue with the engine's electronic management system.
With Charlie out, Jonathan Gore and his Foretravel Motorcoach car became the highest placed Comprent car, finishing 7th. Tom Drewer in his first ever Lites 1 drive, finished just outside the top-ten in 11th despite managing overheating brakes, with David Ducote in 12th and Wayne Ducote in 17th.
Round 1 was won by Joel Feinberg.
Round 2, the 1 hour and 15 minute Endurance event with mandatory pit-stop, again saw Charlie start well and he looked on-track to score Comprent's first podium of the year, but a pit-speed violation gave him two trips down pit-lane and put him out of contention.
Tom again suffered from over-heating brakes and found it difficult to push around the heavy braking circuit. But even with this severe handicap the determined young Aussie managed to move up through the field from 12th position to eighth and in the closing laps passed Jon Brownson to finish 7th.
Jonathan Gore, however, had a fault-free race and showed tremendous pace throughout the race.
A cool, calm and quick pitstop by the Comprent team kept Jonathan positioned well and the leaders insight. Jonathan finished the race in 5th position to be yet again the highest placed of the five Comprent cars.
Charlie Sheers recovered from his penalty to finish in 9th with David Ducote in 11th and Wayne Ducote in 14th.
Round 2 was won by Matt Downs.
Team owner Kevin Kloepfer summed up the weekend:
"Four Comprent Cars in the top-ten and one of those top-five is a great way to start the season.
All the cars showed pace throughout the weekend, but just as it sometimes can the tough Sebring surface took it's toll with Charlie and Tom both experiencing issues at different times, but that's racing. Jonathan on the other hand had a steady weekend and it was fantastic to see him the first Comprent car home and finishing 5th.
I think we showed we have the speed to be right there in the Championship hunt and I know every member of the team, along with all our drivers, is focused to obtaining back- to-back Team and Drivers' Championships."
Next on the IMSA Lites event schedule for Comprent Motor Sports is the Utah Grand Prix at Miller Motorsport Park, Utah for Rounds 3 and 4 on May 15-17.