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Mar 15, 2014 - 03:24 AM
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Performance Tech Prototype Lites Fight to Finish
Posted by: newsla on Mar 15, 2014 - 03:23 AM
Sports Cars
Performance Tech Prototype Lites Fight to Finish

Round Two of the Cooper Lites Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda mimicked the looks of a boxing match for many of the Performance Tech Motorsports drivers.


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Some faced a rough Race Two while others finally found their stride to end the week at Sebring International Raceway. Team Prinicpal Brent O'Neill felt a mixture of disappointment and pride.

"It was a good day, but I was a little disappointed," O'Neill said. "I thought Mikhail did a little jump start there. I don't know what the outcome of that is going to be, but it took some thunder away from Craig (Duerson). Hayden (Duerson) got punted from that one restart, and that put him to the back. Then Joel Janco got hit from behind and lost the back of his car. On the other side of things, though, Matt McMurry did a great job coming up through the field, very steady with no mistakes. I was very impressed with Robert Alon's his first time in an IMSA Lites race. It will be a pleasure to work with such a great group of guys this year. I think we have a great shot at winning a championship."

Qualified: 3rd Finished: 3rd (Masters: 1st) - "I was happy with the race and happy with my pace," Duerson said. "At the beginning of the race, I was able to keep pressure on P1, and Performance Tech gave me a great car to do that. The cautions started to come out, and then there were some questionable restarts, and those can have effect on the outcome of the race. I felt like I had a good race overall. I was happy with my first start in the series, and I am looking forward to the rest of the season."

Qualified: 6th Finished: 13th - "We had a great car," Duerson said. "I started off sixth and made my way to fourth and third. I was floating right up there at the front of the pack. Performance Tech once again gave me a great car. It was very competitive. But then on one of the restarts going into Turn 3, there was contact from behind and I spun and ended up facing the other direction. But I think I was fast. I'm starting to get up to speed, and I think I have the potential to land on podium and maybe even a win."

Qualified: 11th Finished: 6th - "I definitely felt more solid and definitely had more grip out there today," Alon said. "I don't know if it was the conditions or the car, but I felt better out there today. I was happy with my weekend results. I'm hoping to set up tests between races to keep up progress. I just love driving the car, so I'd like to not have to go so long between races."

Qualified: 13th Finished: 10th (Masters: 3rd) - "It was another great race at Sebring International Raceway. There was quite a bit of excitement going into Turn 1 on the first lap. But we managed to We lost some major track time in the beginning of the race, which really put me at a disadvantage on the last restart. I had to start fifth. When I finally got up to second, I didn't have enough time to work for first place. squeak through that and press on. So it was a good race."

Qualified: 12th Finished: 20th (Masters: 9th) - "It was not really a race," Janco said. "I went from start to Turn 1 and then someone landed on the back of my car, literally in mid-air, taking out my back wing and putting me out of the race. Frustrating, but I'll be looking forward to coming back at the next race."

Qualified: 7th Finished: 5th - "Today was much better than yesterday, but I still need to get stronger off the starts and restart," McMurry said. "I thought I was more aggressive today, though. I felt more comfortable pushing back when others tried to push me out of the way. Going into the next race, I would really like to end on podium. I had the fourth-fastest lap time in the second race, and I had two less test sessions than some of the other guys."

Performance Tech Motorsports' week in Prototype Lites is complete, but its weekend at Sebring is far from over. The drivers all will be staying to cheer on the No. 38 Dash neighborhoods/ Phillips 66 Prototype Challenge car Saturday,

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