Comprent ready but Shears out for Utah. Monday, May 11, 2009. Athens, GA. -- Comprent heads to Salt Lake City Utah this week for Rounds 3 & 4 of the 2009 IMSA Lites Championship presented by Frisby Performance Tire. However, the Athens, GA...
Comprent ready but Shears out for Utah.
Monday, May 11, 2009. Athens, GA. -- Comprent heads to Salt Lake City Utah this week for Rounds 3 & 4 of the 2009 IMSA Lites Championship presented by Frisby Performance Tire.
However, the Athens, GA based team who won the 2008 IMSA Lites 1 Team and Drivers' Championships will field only four of their expected five cars for the American Le Mans Series' Utah Grand Prix event at Miller Motorsport Park.
Charlie Shears (Houston, TX) has been recommended not to race after doctors found a minor blood clot. Otherwise extremely fit and healthy, Charlie is in good spirits but extremely frustrated by the likelihood he will miss the next two rounds of the Championship.
"I'm frustrated to have the yellow and blue US Builders car sitting out on the side-lines yet again. We showed extremely great pace at Sebring only to be sitting out on the sidelines for Race 1 due to an electronic glitch. Now it seems to be the driver with a small glitch, but I'm just thankful the doctor's found it and it wasn't serious. I'm looking forward to getting back in the car as soon as I'm given the green light."
However Jonathan Gore and the Park1 sponsored father and son duo of David and Wayne Ducote (New Orleans, LA) are raring to go, along with Australian and 2008 IMSA Lites 2 Champion Tom Drewer.
The team was strong at Sebring for Rounds 1 & 2 of the Championship. Three Comprent drivers qualified in the Top Ten, and over the two races the team had 5 Top Ten finishes including a Top Five finish for Jonathan Gore (Franklin, TN).
Given last year's results the team expects to be even stronger at Utah. In 2008 Comprent's Championship winning driver Jonathan Goring (Torrington, CT) won Round 4 and was the fastest driver in qualifying and both races.
Interestingly enough though, it was young up-and-coming Australian Tom Drewer (Adelaide, AUS) that stole the limelight last year. Then driving a less powerful Lites 2 car, Drewer finished third and second outright. In fact the only car faster than Drewer in Round 4 at Utah last year was that of Comprent's Jonathan Goring. What was even more remarkable was Tom had never even seen Miller Motorsport Park before the race weekend had started.
The speed Tom showed in 2008 excites team owner Kevin Kloepfer.
"I was astounded at the speed Tom showed last year. Actually, it was at Miller that we first started talking about the prospect of running him this year. For a kid that had never seen the circuit before he certainly learnt very quickly how to get a car hooked-up around there. I can't wait to see what he can do in his Number 1 Daily Planet Elan Lites 1 car this year."
And after testing last week Kevin believes the team should have very strong pace all-round in Utah.
"We went to Road Atlanta last week to lay the foundations for our Utah Setup. Along with Sebring, Utah was the only place last year we didn't run tunnel floors so we thought it was very important to continue our tunnel floor testing program.
We spent the day testing setup with Jonathan at the wheel of his number 24 Foretravel Motor Coach sponsored car and were very encouraged by the results we saw. He was quick. I think we have a very strong platform for Jonathan, Tom, Wayne and David to work with at Utah."
Also testing at Road Atlanta was Comprent's Bill Gillespie (Newnan, GA) in his Cosworth powered Ralt Atlantic and regular SCCA runner Tommy Thompson (Houma, LA) in his Crystal Head Vodka sponsored CSR spec Elan DP-02.
"Tommy's car confirmed what we learnt on Jonathan's. But because club CSR rules allow for more modifications, than IMSA Lites, on the Elan DP-02 we went even further. We've developed quite a few `club modifications' for the Elan now and are really happy with our latest Comprent Aero Package for the SCCA CSR version of the DP-02."
The four Comprent cars of Tom Drewer, David and Wayne Ducote and Jonathan Gore take to the Miller Motorsports Park circuit this Thursday, May 14 for practise in preparation for Round 3 of the 2009 IMSA Lites Championship, Presented by Frisby Performance Tire, on Saturday, May 16 and Round 4 on Sunday, May 17.