DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. (July 8, 2015) – It’s a quick turnaround for the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda heading into Canada this week.
The Performance Tech Motorsports Prototype Lites drivers had only one week off between their Watkins Glen International race weekend June 25-27 and Rounds 7 and 8 of the season July 11-12 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario
With little time to prepare for the high-speed, 2.459-mile course, Robert Alon, Joel Janco and Austin Versteeg will rely on lessons learned from The Glen and past experience.
Alon (left) and Versteeg (right) debrief after Race One at Watkins Glen
Versteeg and Alon earned podium finishes during Round 5 at Watkins Glen, with Alon second and Versteeg third. Teammate Joel Janco faced undiagnosed issues with his Lites 1 car and retired early from Round 5. It was the first race he did not finish on the Lites 1 Masters podium this season.
The Performance Tech crew worked hard during the short spell between races to prepare the cars for CTMP and ensure that Janco will make a charge for the top step of the Masters podium.
“I think the track actually suits Austin and Robert’s driving style,” Team Principal Brent O’Neill said. “I think they’ll do fine. Watkins Glen was a bad weekend for Joel. He also does well at Mosport, and we have a pretty good starting point with the things we have learned over the past three weeks. I think that will help us a lot in Canada.
Janco on grid at Watkins Glen
“The guys are probably better off without a long gap between races like NOLA and Watkins Glen. The drivers are ready to get to work at Mosport, and not having a big layoff will help us, for sure. I think it’ll help keep them focused and things more fresh in their minds.”
The fast, daunting 10-turn circuit at CTMP forces every driver to push to their limits. But Alon may look for more out of CTMP than others.
Alon’s first chance to shine in his rookie season of 2014 came at CTMP. He finished second overall, his best performance last season.
“Robert was good at Mosport last year,” O’Neill said. “It was his first rain race. This is only Robert’s second year racing anything. He has really stepped up, and we look for big things at Mosport out of him.”
Alon is third in the Lites 1 standings with 73 points. Rookie Versteeg is sixth with 59. Janco is second in the Lites 1 Masters standings with 86 points.
Round 7 for the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda field, a 30-minute race, will start at 6:10 p.m. (ET) Saturday, July 11. Round 8, a 45-minute race, will take place at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, July 12, immediately following the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race. Fans can follow live timing at scoring.imsa.com and live race commentary on Twitter at @IMSALive.
Keep up with Performance Tech Motorsports by following the team on Facebook and Twitter at @Perf_Tech. For more information on the team, visit performancetechmotorsports.com.