Booth Shines at 2013 Diamond Cellar Classc
Lexington, Ohio, (June 15, 2013) - Thirteen minutes under caution made it difficult for drivers to find a rhythm in Race One at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Pole sitter Sean Rayhall led the field through the first and second yellow flags, but Performance Tech's Ryan Booth was on his tail and capitalized when Rayhall had a mishap.
The first yellow flag came out after Michal Chlumecky went into the gravel in Turn 9 on lap seven. Six minutes later, the course went green only to go yellow less than one minute after. Another eight-minute caution kept the field tight.
With less than five minutes to go at the 2013 Diamond Cellar Classic, Rayhall and Booth entered Turn 2 when Rayhall's brakes locked up and Booth took advantage of his line. The little wiggle by Rayhall was enough for Booth to take the lead in the No. 18 L1 Élan DP02 2.0L Mazda. From there, Booth led to the checkered flag to claim his second win of the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda 2013 season.
"It was nice to actually race instead of Sean (Rayhall) just walking away the whole race," Booth said with a smile. "Congratulations to him. We had an awesome race and he's hard to keep up with. The full-course cautions helped a lot."
Booth's fastest lap of 1:19.780 was enough for a new track record at the 2.258-mile facility. The record was previously held by current Masters Championship driver, Gerry Kraut, who posted a time of 1.20:661 in August of 2011.
Rayhall was able to hang onto second place after an issue with brakes.
"Hats off to Ryan (Booth)," Rayhall said. "He drove a great race. He was consistent and just waited for a little mishap to happen and was right there when it did. He got by me and and from there there wasn't really any catching him because we had braking trouble."
Coming into round five of the 2013 season, Comprent Motor Sports' Rayhall was the overall points leader after back-to-back wins at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Now, Booth and Rayhall are knotted at 76 points a piece.
Performance Tech finished with two drivers on the podium as Booth took the title and Daniel Goldburg finished third for his third podium-finish of the year.
"I didn't have the speed of Ryan (Booth) and Sean (Rayhall) throughout the week so I qualified third, finished third and I'm happy," Goldburg said. "We got a first and a third here for Performance Tech and our guys did a great job here."
For Lites 2 driver Brian Alder, the 13-turn permanent road course was familiar territory, but driving the course was not. Before taking the track the Ohio-native jokingly said he wasn't out to break any records. Instead, he posted a qualifying and new race lap record during his time at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The BAR1 Motorsports team owner finished first in Lites 2 and posted a time of 1:24.728 to break the previous record held by Michal Chlumecky.
"There was a big learning curve coming into this weekend," Alder said. "Our main goal was to win but also bring a car home so we can race again tomorrow. Hats off to all the crew guys at BAR1 Motorsports. We had a blast out there and are looking forward to tomorrow."
Race Two at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course starts Sunday, June 16 at 12:40 p.m. for a 45-minute sprint. Live on-track updates can be found on Twitter at @IMSALites or on Facebook. Entry lists, spotter guides and event information is available on the IMSA Development Series website at http://prototypelites.com
Eurosport Racing's Jon Brownson garnered his second win of the season at the 2013 Diamond Cellar Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Brownson started in fifth position overall and finished there, hanging tight with the youngsters in the front of the pack. Brownson's win bumps him up to first in the Masters Championship points standings.
The bright red No. 34 L1 Élan DP02 2.0L Mazda was trailed by Gerry Kraut of JDC Motorsports, who finished second in the category. Kraut started out in seventh position overall and climbed to sixth before finishing the 30-minute sprint.
Brownson's teammate Joel Janco joined him on the podium in third place after jumping from a 10th place starting grid position to eighth overall. Janco earned his second podium finish of the season.
Jon Brownson: First Place Masters Championship
"I had (Gerry) Kraut on my heels the whole way so it was a hard fought battle. I'm glad it turned out the way it did and to have my teammate here on the podium with me this is the first time we've had an opportunity to do this together. I keep hoping experience will trumph the speed of youth one of these days."
Gerry Kraut: Second Place Masters Championship
"We had a good race I think a couple people made some mistakes around us after their tires were cold. I got hit in the rear by somebody in the keyhole."
Joel Janco: Third Place Masters Championship
"I had a pretty good race, lost a few positions on the start and had to claw my way back. Fortunately there was a bit of carnage out there that moved me up. I'm happy with where we finished."
Sean Rayhall claimed his third consecutive Cooper Tires Pole Award of the season in the early morning qualification session at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The Comprent Motor Sports driver whipped around the 13-turn circuit to post a new track qualifying record of 1:18.444 in his seventh trip around the course.
The 30-minute qualification session ended under a red flag after Guy Laporte made contact with the wall in the Turn 12 area. Ending under red left Rayhall in first position and Performance Tech's Ryan Booth and Daniel Goldburg in second and third, respectively. Booth finished nine hundredths of a second behind Rayhall and Goldburg managed a third position despite causing the first red flag of the session 13 minutes in.
Masters championship driver Jon Brownson with Eurosport Racing finished fifth fastest overall in qualifications and first amongst the Masters contenders. Brian Alder, one of two drivers in Lites 2, turned a new qualifying lap record to begin Race One in 14th position for BAR1 Motorsports.