Drewer takes 2008 IMSA Lites L2 Championship and back-to-back Championships across the Pacific. Young rising Australian driver, Tom Drewer has taken out the 2008 IMSA Lites L2 Championship with a clean sweep at Petit Le Mans, Road ...
Drewer takes 2008 IMSA Lites L2 Championship and back-to-back Championships across the Pacific.
Young rising Australian driver, Tom Drewer has taken out the 2008 IMSA Lites L2 Championship with a clean sweep at Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Drewer, driving his Daily Planet Racing WEST, won both Round 9 (yesterday) and Round 10 (today), taking maximum points and putting the championship out of reach of his team-mate, Eric Vassian who finished 3rd in both races.
It means that Drewer has taken back-to-back Championships across the pacific with WEST Race Cars, winning the 2007 Australian Thundersports Sportscar Championship, and now the 2008 IMSA Lites L2 Championship.
It was a near perfect weekend for Drewer who qualified on Pole in class, setting a new L2 qualifying lap record, won race 1, setting a new L2 race lap record, and took victory in race 2, lowering his race lap record to 1:22.03 along the way.
Drewer finished race 2 ninth overall, averaging over 111 mph (180km/h) around the 2.54 mile (4km) Road Atlanta circuit. The overall race winner was Jonathan Goring (L1).
"Leading into this weekend we knew we should be able to clinch the title but it's motor racing and anything can happen. My Daily Planet WEST has been fantastic all year and I want to thank everyone at WEST Race Cars, especially my engineer Jake Randels, for all their hard work.
Then yesterday something went wrong with the shift mechanism half way through race 1 and I was having a lot of trouble going up through the gearbox. It was nothing we could have prevented. The boys put in a lot of effort to solve the problem and in the end we replaced the entire electronic shift module and actuator. Today the car was back to its best and we just set about having a clean, trouble free race to bring the championship home.
It really was a case of keeping it clean. There was chaos on the re-start when the field checked up, and crashed into each other, and I'm sorry that my teammate Eric's race really ended there. I avoided that and the incident that caused the safety car in the first place.
I set about achieving a good pace early on, but kept it well within the limits. In the end though we really closed the gap to the top L1s. Our best lap was just 2.2 seconds slower than Goring's. I think it really shows again just how fast these WEST's are given how much more horsepower and torque the L1s have.
I showed a little emotion on the podium today. This is a long way from my home-town Adelaide, in Australia. There has been so much effort behind the scene this year. I really wish both my father Mike and mother Jacquie could have been over here to see this. They have sacrificed a great deal so that I could achieve this.
I really want to thank John Trimble and the Daily Planet for all their support this year.
I want to also thank each and everyone who has helped me to get to this point. Terry Little for having so much faith in me, Randy Aust, Greg Steer from WEST Race Cars Australia, everyone at WEST Race Cars America and everyone who has put their names and messages on the rear bodywork of my car. I've been racing for all of you this year. Thanks for being a part of the team. This championship is for you too. Dad, Terry, John, everyone, we did it!
I'm just looking forward to driving Laguna Seca now, and I hope that my performance and consistency this year can lead onto bigger and better things next year. We have already had some exciting offers and testing opportunities present themselves and I'm already looking forward to putting the right option together and racing in America again next year."
IMSA Lites heads across to California later this month, to Laguna Seca for the final two rounds of the championship. It will be Drewer's first time on the world famous North American circuit.