A few weekends ago I visited an historic meeting at Road Atlanta. Alan Jones' Williams was one of many historic Formula 1 cars competing.
The photos in order are Alan Jones' Williams, James Hunt's McLaren, Keke Rosberg's office in the #1 Williams, one of Pironi's famous Candy sponsored Tyrrells and an early Beneton sponsored car. I believe this was also a Tyrrell.
In another performance reminiscent of the P2 Penske Porsche’s in the American Le Mans Series, Tom Drewer impressively piloted his Daily Planet WEST L2 to the second step of the overall podium today, and made it four class wins from four in Round 4 of the IMSA Lites Championship held at Miller Motorsports Park, Utah.
Drewer set a new class Race Lap Record as he navigated his way from fifth on the grid around the more powerful Elan DP02 L1 cars to hold a convincing second place overall, 5 seconds clear of the third placed Matt Downs (L1 Elan).
Drewer’s time of 1:48.802 was only 7 tenths slower than the fastest lap of the race by L1 race winner, Jonathan Goring. His average speed over the 3.048 mile (4.9 km) circuit was over 101 mph (162.5 kph).
‘This is an awesome result for myself and WEST Race Cars. Yesterday we showed we had what it takes to mix it right up the front of the field and today we took away a podium position from the L1’s. We’re only one step from taking the outright win.
‘I really want to thank the whole WEST/PVM team, in particular Eric Vassian, team owner, Chas Gorton and Randy Aust. The new tunnel floored WEST was on rails the whole weekend. WEST’s Australian part owner, Greg Steer was also here to see the result- mate this one’s for you and Eric.
Drewer’s second place is WEST Race Car’s best overall result for nearly two years in the IMSA Lites category.
‘We’re lighter, but about 55 horsepower down on the L1 cars and we’ve matched their performance all weekend, even though this Miller circuit is so high speed.’
Today’s result caps a perfect weekend for Drewer, who qualified first in class (4th overall), won race one in class (4th overall), qualified first in class (5th overall) for today’s race, and set a new class Qualifying Lap record and two Race Lap Records.
‘I have a brand new sponsor on-board this weekend in Melbourne, Australia’s iconic Daily Planet. I want to thank John Trimble for his support. What a way to start the partnership- and I think it’s only the start of things to come.
‘I also want to thank everyone back home for their continued support. We packed out a supporter’s dinner the other night. I said on the Skype video link up I would do you all proud and I will continue to do so. I can’t thank everyone who was involved and who attended enough. Being such a long way from home, it’s fantastic to know I have so much support.
‘People back home can put their names and messages on the back of my car. It really pumps me up to look down at my car and see them all. It really pumps me up.’
The win today gives Drewer maximum points in the L2 Championship after one-third of the IMSA Lites Championship completed.
His next race is at the North East Grand Prix of Lime Rock Circuit, Connecticut, as part of the American Le Mans Series.
Drewer extended his winning streak to three from three by taking race one in the L2 class in round 3 of IMSA Lites at the Miller Dealerships Utah Grand Prix as part of the American Le Mans Series.
Drewer and his Daily Planet L2 WEST nearly stole a podium place from the faster L1 class and showed form in both qualifying and the race comparable to that of the P2 Penske Porsche’s performance versus the P1 Audi’s in the American Le Mans Series.
‘All day we have been right up the front with the fastest L1 drivers. In both qualifying and the race it was important to push hard and impress amongst the top L1 drivers.
In what is only Drewer’s first visit to Miller Motorsport Park, he started the race from position 4 over all and position 1 in class after an impressive qualifying session that saw Drewer and his WEST L2 take a new track class lap record of 1:48.05.
‘The WEST is flying this weekend. Miller is a rather unique track, it’s 4000 feet above sea level for a start. My number one, Chas, and the PVM/WEST team has done an awesome job again. Miller is extremely high speed and we can use the full effect of the new WEST ‘tunnel floor’. The amount of speed we can carry though the turns is awesome. I think we really proved the speed of the WEST today.’
In qualifying Drewer’s average speed over the 3.048 mile (4.9 km) Miller Motorsports Park course was 101.5 mph (163.4 kph).
‘After such a great qualifying performance I knew the start would be critical. The L1’s have more power and torque. Jonathan Goring (Elan L1) and Ricky Taylor (Elan L1) had the field tightly bunched up. I had my nose buried in the back of Ricky and got a great start. I still got a little out dragged into turn one and ended up in sixth after a slight tap in the rear from Joel Feinberg (Elan L1).
‘After quickly working back to fourth I spent most of the race catching third placed Feinberg. As I moved for a look down the inside he started to move across and closed the door. Since I’m not racing him for points I kept to my plan and just thought about the championship. But I think the L1’s will have to watch out tomorrow.’
Drewer’s L2 Daily Planet WEST finished fourth overall.
‘It was a fantastic and fitting result for many reasons, most importantly I have a new sponsor on board this weekend in Melbourne’s (Australia) iconic Daily Planet. It’s the perfect way to start the partnership. I would particularly like to thank John Trimble for his support.
‘I’ve also been really inspired this weekend by the amazing support that has been building back in Australia. On Wednesday night we had a supporters’ dinner in my hometown of Adelaide. I actually did a Skype video call to the function from Atlanta airport just before I flew out. It was amazing. With Ford Performance Racing’s V8 Supercar driver Steve Richards guest speaker, we packed out the Sporting Car Club of South Australia’s club rooms with over 150 people.
‘To hear them cheer as I spoke really pumped me up for this weekend and I think the fact we are mixing it with the very top of the L1 cars proves this. I really want to thank every one who attended and contributed to the night for their support.’
Drewer’s win is also the maiden win for WEST Race Cars since being acquired by PVM Racing’s Eric Vassian, also Drewer’s team owner.
‘It’s great to be able to reward Eric with another win and such a strong performance against the L1 Elans. It’s also fantastic to be driving for the Factory again after winning the 2007 Australian Thundersports Sportscar Championship for WEST Race Cars Australia and WEST’s other owner, Greg Steer.’
Drewer takes to the Miller Motorsports Park circuit again tomorrow for Round 4 of the 2008 IMSA Lites Championship.
I'm just sitting here at Atlanta International Airport waiting for my flight. I've just skyped the Supporter's Dinner in Adelaide, and I just want to again say thank you to everyone!
You've got to love technology! Hearing the applause of so many fans and supporters was just amazing.
I really want to thank everyone for attending and I hope you had a wonderful night.
A big thank you to Steve Richards, Bruce Abernethy and Michael Brock. I also want to thank everyone who donated their time organising the night as well as those who supplied auction items and raffle prizes. And all of my supporters who appear on my car!
Blackwood Tyre Power
Central Audio Visual
Clemenger BBDO Adelaide
Daryl & Julie Warren
Dick Johnson Racing
Ford Performance Racing
Holden Racing Team
Jack Daniels Racing
John 'Stonie' Stoneham
Lemon Myrtle Fragrances
Lyn & Sue Punshon
Martin and Rachael Wagg
p.create Penny Gordon
Penny Hill Wines
Peter Lehmann Wines
Ray Robbins from TEGA
R-Tek Motorsport Services
Saturno Hotel Group
Sporting Car Club of SA
Team Vodafone Triple-8
Universal Wine Bar
West Race Cars Australia
I will do you proud at Salt Lake. Tom.
Article published in Adelaide's Sunday Mail Newspaper early May, 2008.
Just before I went to New York to be part of the One Show festivities. Unfortunately Matt and I didn't win the advertising gong. It was one heck of a party though!
Join V8 Supercar driver Steve Richards to support Tom Drewer racing in the USA.
Mike and Tom Drewer invite you to THE RACE FOR 2008 Supporter's Dinner.
Please join us and Ford Performance Racing's V8 Supercar driver Steve Richards at the Sporting Car Club for a great Motorsport dinner in support of Tom Drewer racing in the American Le Mans Series IMSA Lites category this year.
Tom has already won his first two races at the famous Sebring circuit and currently leads the Championship, but it's a long way to go.
Join motor sport identities and hear from Tom in the USA via video and Skype link.
Michael Brock will conduct a special auction of motor sport memorabilia and once in a life time opportunities including a HELICOPTER RIDE for four and chances to drive in a WEST Race Car just like Tom's driving in America!
Tickets: $30 per head including dinner, wine and beer.
Get your friends together and book a table of ten.
RSVP to Mike Drewer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Mike on 0419 27 3333.
Time and Place:
7:00pm - 11:00pm, Wednesday, May 14, 2008
The Sporting Car Club of South Australia
51 King William Road, Unley.