INSPIRE MOTORSPORTS DOMINATES COOPER TIRES PROTOTYPE LITES OPENER AT SEBRING DeLand, FL, March 22, 2010 - Inspire Motorsports started off the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites season on a high note during the first two races of the year at Sebring ...
INSPIRE MOTORSPORTS DOMINATES COOPER TIRES PROTOTYPE LITES OPENER AT SEBRING
DeLand, FL, March 22, 2010 - Inspire Motorsports started off the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites season on a high note during the first two races of the year at Sebring International Raceway. Inspire cars won both of the first two races and took three of the top five positions in the championship point standings.
Charlie Shears took his US Builders DP02 to pole position in qualifying for the first round and then stayed in front to win the first race of the season.
"The car felt fantastic in qualifying and I was pretty confident that if I could get into the lead, I could hold it", said Charlie. "The Cooper Tires are great". "The car is definitely faster than last year."
Jonathan Bennett blew a head gasket during practice, missed one session and waited while the Inspire crew worked hard to get his car repaired for qualifying. With only a couple of "hot laps", Jonathan qualified ninth for the first race, but passed five cars on the opening lap to finish a strong fourth in the first race.
"We had to put last year's motor in the car and I was pleased to place so high in the first race of the season", said Bennett. "The Composite Resources DP02 ran strong after the Inspire team did a miraculous job of putting the car back together for qualifying".
Gary Gibson also had an engine let go during practice, setting the Perfect Pedal car on fire while on the back of the course. Gary emerged unscathed, but the car sustained significant damage. The Inspire crew worked late into the night to change Gary's engine and repair his car in time for qualifying. Gary qualified fourth for the first race, but dropped back due to contact with another car.
For race number two, the Inspire drivers qualified 2nd (Charlie Shears), 3rd (Gary Gibson) and 5th (Jonathan Bennett). At the start, Gibson made a dramatic move along the inside wall and shot into first place, while Shears fell in behind in second and Bennett was bumped hard enough by a competitor to set off his onboard fire extinguisher, filling the cockpit with foam.
By the end of the race, Gibson held a commanding lead while Shears fell back to 3rd even after contact with another car. Bennett, who lost seven places in the first corner tangle, fought his way back to 6th place by the finish of race number two in spite of the fire extinguisher foam.
"The week certainly started off horribly for me, but winning the second race took a lot of the sting out of the week", said Gibson.
While it was a challenging, hard-fought week for the team, Inspire Motorsports managed to win both races and take the lead in the overall points standings under challenging circumstances.
-source: inspire motorsports