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Sep 12, 2012 - 07:32 PM
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New Event At VIR Carries Championship Momentum For Cooper Tires Prototype Lites
Posted by: newsla on Sep 12, 2012 - 07:31 PM
American Le Mans Series News
New Event At VIR Carries Championship Momentum For Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered By Mazda Series


The Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda Series will join the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón this weekend for the inaugural event on Virginia International Raceway’s 3.27-mile circuit in the beautiful resort setting of Alton, Va., Sept. 13-15.

 

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Developed as a “Country Club Style” facility, Virginia International Raceway (VIR) features up to six different racing configurations.

The full-length course will be utilized for this weekend’s racing action, making the 17-turn facility one of the fastest, and certainly most unique, circuits on the 2012 calendar.

“It is a momentum track with great flow and rhythm,” said Kerrigan Smith, VIR director of track operations.

“It also has restaurants, lodging, skeet, karting, a pub, and The VIR Driving Experience, but I would say the biggest thing that sets us apart is our staff,” Smith added. “They are a very dedicated group and work here because they love VIR.”

Testing is always a critical component in preparation for any new event. Earlier this season in June, JDC Motorsports, Ferrari of Houston and Acadia Racing LLC took to the twists and turns of VIR to gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the rhythm-based combination of corners that can separate champions from drivers.

For JDC Racing and Mikhail Goikhberg, the data and lessons learned in testing could be crucial in their hunt to slow down Tristan Nunez and Performance Tech’s dominant effort in the L1 class this season.

Nunez, who has won eight of 10 races so far, leads the championship by only 22 points over rival Goikhberg.

Goikhberg is currently in second in L1 with 162 points and two wins.

Behind the pair of “young guns” is Jon Brownson of Eurosport Racing, who trails Goikhberg by 34 points. And while he chases his two younger competitors, Brownson currently maintains a strong lead in the Master’s Division with 161 points over Ritchie Holt and Daniel Mancini, who have 126 and 120 points respectively.

In L2 competition, Alan Wilzig is currently holding off Level 5 Racing’s Scott Tucker with a six-point lead. Wilzig, with 164 points, hopes to increase the gap against Tucker’s 158 points to hold onto his Championship dreams.

Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda practice at VIR begins Thursday, Sept. 13 at 9:30 a.m. ET. Another 30-minute practice follows at 1:15 p.m. Qualifying is slated for 8:45 a.m. Friday. Race 1 (30-minutes) at VIR is Friday, Sept. 14 at 1:35 p.m., while Race 2 (45-minutes) is Saturday, Sept. 15 at 10:35 a.m.

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