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Aug 11, 2014 - 06:22 AM
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Novich Captures First Victory at Legendary Road America
Posted by: newsla on Aug 11, 2014 - 06:17 AM
Sports Cars
Novich Captures First Victory at Legendary Road America


Andrew Novich clinched his first career Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda victory in Round 10 at Road America in Sunday morning's in a 45-minute sprint.

 

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Novich, driving the No. 61 Comprent Motor Sports car, started on pole in both Saturday and Sunday's races, but the California native fell back to finish seventh in Round 9. Novich's previous best finish was second in Round 6 in June at Watkins Glen International.

"Today went more according to plan," Novich said. "Starting on pole for the second time allowed us a chance to hit the restart button from yesterday. I got passed at the start by Hayden (Duerson) and Christian (Potolicchio), but Christian fell back as we settled into the race. Hayden and I dueled for about half an hour, and it was a tight battle. His car started to fall off later in the race just as my car was really coming into its own. I was able to pass him, which was great.

"I was having an issue with the brake pads falling away from the brake disc, which meant I had a long pedal when I went to the brakes. After Hayden crashed out, I was alone at the front for a while. There was a caution near the end of the race, which bunched everyone up, but I was lucky to get a great restart.

"We've been chasing a win all year, and we've been so close before. To finally get one is so exciting. I can't thank Comprent Motor Sports enough for giving me a fast car today that was capable of winning."

Following Novich to the checkered flag were Matt McMurry of JDC Motorsports, who started 10th, and Christian Potolicchio of 8Star Motorsports, who started and finished third.

The race was McMurry's career best finish in the series and the 16-year-old's first podium. It was Potolicchio's first double podium this year.

Championship points leader Mikhail Goikhberg spun in the first part of the race and fell to finish 19th and one lap down. Championship contender Robert Alon was running up front until he was involved in an incident in Turn 1 that caused a caution flag to fly. Alon ultimately finished15th in class.

LITES 1 MASTERS

John Falb, driving for ONE Motorsports, collected his second L1 Masters win in only his first season of Prototype Lites competition. Falb started fifth in the class.

"The car was tough to handle at the beginning of the race, but it really came to me as the race progressed," Falb said. "We ran a clean race, which was the biggest factor in taking home the win."

Jon Brownson started 13th in class, and drove all the way to third for his third podium of 2014 for Performance Tech Motorsports. He was later credited with second place after JDC Motorsports driver Gerry Kraut received a timed penalty for a restart infraction.

Kraut's penalty moved Don Yount of Yount Motorsports up to third place, giving him his fourth Masters podium of the 2014 season.

8Star Motorsports' driver Enzo Potolicchio started 10th in L1 Masters, and drove all the way to the lead before he was involved in the final incident, which ended his day, relegating him to a ninth-place finish.

LITES 2

Brian Alder captured his seventh win in the Lites 2 category Sunday morning, after starting behind pole sitter Todd Slusher. Alder, driving for BAR1 Motorsports used caution flags to his advantage.

"Todd (Slusher) and I had a good battle on the first lap," Alder said. "We were side by side for half the lap and then he took the lead and held it until we had that first caution, which helped me catch up. On the restart I was able to get a good run. I followed an L1 car alongside the right and then coming into Turn 1 there was an incident and I ended up in front when we made it through the incident."

Slusher of ONE Motorsports finished second and Alta Velocita Racing's Jerome Mee took the checkered in third.

UP NEXT

The Cooper Tires Prototype Lites field will race in Rounds 11 and 12 at Virginia International Raceway, Aug. 22-24, sharing the asphalt with the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship's Prototype Challenge Class, before driving in the season finale at Road Atlanta, Oct. 1-3.

For more information about Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda, visit www.imsa.com, follow hashtag #CTPL @IMSA on Twitter or IMSA on Facebook.

QUOTEBOOK:

ANDREW NOVICH (No. 61 Comprent Motor Sports, winner):
"Today went more according to plan. Starting on pole for the second time, we got to hit the restart button from yesterday. I got passed at the start by Hayden (Duerson) and Christian (Potolicchio), but Christian fell back as we settled into the race. Hayden and I dueled for about half an hour, and it was a tight battle. His car started to fall off later in the race just as my car was really coming into its own. I was able to pass him, which was great. I was having an issue the brake pads falling away from the brake disc, which meant I had a long pedal when I went to the brakes. After Hayden crashed out, I was alone at the front for awhile. There was a caution near the end of the race, which bunched everyone up, but I was lucky to get a great restart. We've been chasing a win all year, and we've been so close before. To finally get one is so exciting. I can't thank Comprent Motor Sports enough for giving a fast car today that was capable of winning."

MATT MCMURRY (No. 20 JDC Motorsports, second):
"We had an awesome race. We've had a horrible season with mechanicals and DNFs everywhere so it was awesome to finally have the car work the whole time and come from where we were. We had a mechanical in qualifying and were way in the back and went from 10th to second which was great."

CHRISTIAN POTOLICCHIO (No. 2 8Star Motorsports, third):
"It was an amazing race, just super competitive. I spent almost the entire race fighting for position with Robert Alon for a spot on the podium, which was great racing. I caught up to Matt McMurry in P2 on the restart, but didn't have enough to get around him. I'm really happy with third though, overall it was a great weekend for me with 8Star Motorsports."

JOHN FALB (No. 77 ONE Motorsports, fourth; first, Masters):
"We started about mid-pack today after having an incident yesterday. The guys got the car put back together today and had to go with a different setup. The car was tough to handle at the beginning of the race, but it really came to me as the race progressed. We ran a clean race and stayed out of trouble, which was the biggest factor in taking home this win."

JON BROWNSON (No. 34 Performance Tech Motorsports, sixth; second, Masters):
"It was a thrilling race. Thanks to the Performance Tech Motorsports crew, I had a beautiful car. I was able to work my way through the field. I was hoping to move further up than I did, but we'll take this for sure. I'd like to think it was my cat-like reflexes and a lot of good luck that kept me out of trouble out there today."

BRIAN ALDER (No. 22 BAR1 Motorsports, winner, Lites 2):
"The race was good. Todd (Slusher) and I had a good battle on the first lap. We were side by side for half the lap and then he took the lead and held it until we had that first caution, which was good it helped me catch up. I think he had a little bit better car today. On the restart I was able to get a good run. I followed an L1 car alongside the right and then coming into Turn 1 there was an incident and I ended up in front when we made it through the incident. Big thanks to the crew guys at Bar1 Motorsports."

TODD SLUSHER (No. 62 ONE Motorsports, second, Lites 2):
"I managed to stay out of trouble, and it was a lot of fun. I was battling with a lot of different cars, and I feel good about turning my fastest lap of the entire weekend during that race. I held first for a longtime, and at the restart there was a little bit of controversy. No matter how it ends up, that was very exciting. Road America is an amazing track. We have a great team with ONE Motorsports, and they've worked so hard to make sure we have a great season."

JEROME MEE (No. 95 Alta Velocita Racing, third, Lites 2):
"Sometimes victory is just in finishing. My crew was up the entire night and the guys from Performance Tech came over and helped us. I can't thank them enough and can't thank my crew enough. The car just never felt right. I kept a pace and every time I tried to push it something felt a little bit different. I didn't want to have any more incidents so I just decided to finish the race."

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