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Jun 25, 2014 - 06:29 AM
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Performance Tech Has Eyes On Race Wins, Championship Lead At Watkins Glen
Posted by: newsla on Jun 25, 2014 - 06:26 AM
Sports Cars
Performance Tech Has Eyes On Race Wins, Championship Lead At Watkins Glen


Performance Tech Motorsports will continue its quest for the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda championship during Rounds 5 and 6 of the series June 26-28 at Watkins Glen International.

 

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The team is second in the Team Championship of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA)-sanctioned development series, just 10 points behind leaders JDC Motorsports.

Performance Tech has endured highs and lows during the first four races of the 2014 season.

Craig Duerson has scored podium finishes in all four races for the team and is second overall in the standings, just 10 points behind leader Mikhail Goikhberg. Duerson also is dominating the Masters Championship for drivers 40 and older, leading by 21 points.

But mechanical issues such as engine problems for Hayden Duerson at Kansas and on-track incidents such as Joel Janco's rear wing being knocked off by contact from a competitor at Sebring International Raceway have been obstacles to overcome.

Craig Duerson will hope to continue his podium hot streak at Watkins Glen. He finished third and second June 7 at Kansas Speedway after becoming the first Masters competitor to win a pole in the series since September 2012. Duerson will rely on the experience he gained while racing last year at Watkins Glen in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama.

Robert Alon, who also faced engine issues at Kansas, has been a model of consistency this season with four top-10 finishes. He continues to seek more seat time, and Performance Tech will deliver that to him in Prototype Lites and also field a car for Alon for the rest of the 2014 season in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, an open-wheel training series.

Jon Brownson and Janco both have adapted to new setups this year. Janco has shown significant improvement race to race and is building confidence. Brownson also has continued to improve while running near the top of the Masters Championship. He drove to the Masters' podium twice at Sebring.

Team Principal Brent O'Neill expects to see continued improvement from his five drivers.

"I think our guys will do just fine at Watkins Glen," O'Neill said. "Craig is really good overall, not just in Masters. He learns the tracks quickly and has learned the car quickly. I think once he gets just one win, we'll see more after.

"Hayden has really taken everything in stride. He was running at the front of the pack in Kansas until he had motor issues. He's a great kid. So is Robert Alon. Kansas was only his second race weekend, and when his motor was acting up, he was up there, as well.

"Joel (Janco) and Brownson have worked really hard this year, as well. They've been getting use to new setups, and once they get more used to it, I think we'll see them at the top. I think we're really going to have something for Mikhail for the rest of the year."

The weekend begins early for the Prototype Lites field at 8:40 a.m. (ET) Thursday, June 26 for Practice 1. The 30-minute Race 1 takes place 2:15 p.m. Friday, June 27, with the 45-minute Race 2 at 8:10 a.m. Saturday, June 28.

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