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Mar 16, 2013 - 08:49 AM
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Ryan Booth Brings Home A Win In Race 2 At Sebring
Posted by: newsla on Mar 16, 2013 - 08:49 AM
Sports Cars
Ryan Booth Brings Home A Win In Race 2 At Sebring

Sean Rayhall of Comprent Motor Sports led the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda field to the green flag for today's 45-minute timed Race 2 at Sebring International Raceway. But ultimately, it was Performance Tech once again taking the top spot on the L1 podium, this time with Ryan Booth behind the wheel.


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Nearly immediately after the green flag flew over Rayhall, a full-course caution was implemented due to an incident in Turn 13 as the No. 88 car of Dan Weyland spun into the wall and sustained significant damage to the left front and rear of his √Član DP-02, Eurosport Racing entry.

The field went green again on Lap 2, and Ryan Booth took advantage of the restart to pass his Performance Tech teammate Daniel Goldburg for second position.

After a few frenzied laps the Prototype Lites drivers settled in with Rayhall focusing forward and gaining a four-second advantage on second-place Booth by lap 7. Running out front with an unobstructed track, Rayhall bested the race lap record he set in Race 1 at Sebring with a flying lap of 1:58.732.

On lap 9 Race 1 winner Daniel Goldburg lost control of his Performance Tech car while closely pursuing Ryan Booth for second position and spun nose first into the Turn 1 wall, bringing out a full course caution.

"We were racing hard," Goldburg said. "I followed my teammate Ryan (Booth) into Turn 1 and I got a little off of my line. I hit a bump and the whole thing ended up coming around on me."

The green flag flew again on lap 12 giving third-place Goikhberg a strong run on Ryan Booth for second position, but his momentum was slowed by another full course caution brought out when Owen Kratz spun in Turn 7 and collected Jim Garrett's Eurosport Racing car.

The next restart gave Ryan Booth the break he needed to pass Sean Rayhall for the lead, which he held onto until the checkered flag flew two laps later.

"I didn't know if I was going to pull out the win today because I was in second for most of the race," Booth said. "I got a few breaks with the full-course cautions and just barely squeezed by Rayhall at the end in Turn 1. I'm super stoked and want to thank everyone at Performance Tech for giving me an awesome car."

Booth's victory was his second win in Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda competition. His first win came at the end of the 2012 race season in Race 1 at Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda.

Second place finisher Rayhall was sorry to let the win get away from him but took away plenty of positives from his first weekend of racing in 2013 at Sebring International Raceway, including the fact that he set another new race lap record to match his efforts yesterday with a time of 1:58.732, as well as a record qualifying lap of 1:58.824.

"We maintained the lead for a long time, but got hit in the left rear and ended up losing the lead near the end of the race," Rayhall said. "It was a solid performance though and I can't wait to get back on track again with these guys to fight for a win. My team did a great job getting my car ready today after a mechanical issue yesterday."

Mikhail Goikhberg of JDC Motorsports earned a repeat of his Race 1 performance at Sebring with another third place finish, although his second podium of the weekend did not come easily.

"It was a good race today and we luckily grabbed a third place finish again today," Goikhberg said. "It was a little scary at the end because I got passed on the last lap but luckily I got it back before the checkered flag came out. We've got to keep working on the car and all of our thoughts now move to our next race in Laguna."

Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda will return to action May 9-11 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif.

The Master Classmen

Jon Brownson, victorious in Race 1 for the L1 Master Championship on Sebring International Raceway's 3.7-mile concrete course, started in pole position for Race 2.

Brownson's Eurosport Racing car led a tight pack of Master Class competitors early in the race, trailed closely by Richard Fant with Ferrari of Houston and JDC's Gerry Kraut. Shortly thereafter smoke was seen billowing from Brownson's car, forcing him to retire early.

After starting fifth in the Master Class, Scott Tucker made quick progress to jump to the lead of the class after Brownson retired.

On-track incidents held Tucker's Level 5 Motorsports car back and allowed Fant to pull into the Master Class lead.

The field was slowed by two late-race cautions, and drivers bunched up to make a mad dash for the finish line. On the final restart leader Fant spun, giving Kraut a chance to squeeze by and claim the Race 2 win for JDC Motorsports.

"It was an awesome race and I had a wonderful set-up on my car," Kraut said. "I have to thank everyone at JDC Motorsports for giving me the car I needed to win today."

After an eventful race, Scott Tucker claimed the second spot on the Master Class podium.

"It was an aggressive race today with really strong competition on the track," Tucker said. "I had a couple of racing incidents that set me back as well as a gearbox problem on one of the re-starts. I'm really proud of how hard the team worked though and we're satisfied with today's result."

Despite starting deep in the Masters Class from ninth, Ritchie Holt climbed all the way to third in his Performance Tech machine at the checkered flag.

"It was all about perseverance for me today," Holt said. "I was in the back for a lot of the race but everyone made mistakes in front of me. I stayed with it and it paid off at the end for me with a spot on the podium."

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