Brownson Takes First Pole at Home Track in L1, Weisberg Returns to Form in L2
Jon Brownson, 56, has been in the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship since its inception in 2007, so earning his first series pole position at Road America today was sweet in its own right – but coming at the track he grew up on makes it even more memorable.
Brownson, driving the #34 Eurosport Racing/WestRidge Development Élan DP02 in the Lites 1 class, will start in the top spot for this afternoon’s Round 10, followed by #12 Matt Downs (Eurosport Racing/ Hormel Bacon Bits) and championship leader, #21 Charlie Shears (CORE autosport/US Builders).
“It’s exciting at long last to get my first pole position!” said Brownson. “Now we have to follow it up with a result in the race. But one step at a time - thanks to the team, it was a great car. When it goes well, it’s really easy!
“I grew up at this track, with my Dad who worked here as an SCCA volunteer. I started coming here when I was five years old! So it’s a special thrill for me to pole at Road America, which is probably the reason I’m racing today, coming to all those races when I was young.”
Shears anticipated a difficult weekend, knowing he had much less experience at this track than Brownson and the Downs Brothers (Matt, Antonio, starting fifth and Lucas, starting seventh). So starting third is just fine with him.
“We didn’t have a good day on Thursday, we only got four laps,” said Shears. “I’ve only been here a few times, so this is nice, I’ll take third. I’m surprised not to see more of the Downs Brothers up there, but the race will be a different game altogether.”
John Weisberg, driving the #75 BERG Racing/Redcom West WR1000 in the Lites 2 class, has been fighting gremlins in the car all season. Taking advantage of the time between Lime Rock and Road America, the team dismantled the rear of the car and did a complete rebuild. But that doesn’t mean the weekend has been easy.
“We were up late, working on the car til midnight,” said Weisberg. “We did some wrong things for practice but we figured things out. Getting the car all back together with no time to test has been difficult, but it’s in pretty good shape right now!”
The Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship features racing between two sports racer prototype classes, Lites 1 and Lites 2, presenting a dimension of competition as drivers must be aware of classes with distinctly different speeds as they navigate the race track. This is the same challenge faced by the drivers of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón.
The Championship continues next weekend, August 27 – 29, with Rounds 12 and 13 at the Mobil 1 Presents the Grand Prix of Mosport. Follow along on the race weekend at http://www.litestiming.com on Fa,cebook and Twitter, and visit http://www.prototypelites.com for the latest schedule and updates.
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