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October 03, 2011
Prototype Lites: Comprent Motor Sports Perfect in Finale at Road Atlanta
 

Sean Rayhall was a perfect two for two in his Prototype Lites debut at Road Atlanta (Photo: Darren Pierson - dPerceptions.com)
Sean Rayhall was a perfect two for two in his Prototype Lites debut at Road Atlanta
(Photo: Darren Pierson - dPerceptions.com)

ATHENS, GA. (October 3, 2011) – Comprent Motor Sports completed its 2011 pro season in perfection this past week (September 29-30), sweeping the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship season-finale at Road Atlanta. Teenage sensation Sean Rayhall was a dominating force in his series debut with the Georgia-based squad, winning both Round 13 and 14 from the pole position, setting a new lap record in the process. Jonathan Gore added to the impressive display by Comprent Motor Sports, securing third in the title fight with a podium finish in race one of the Petit Le Mans doubleheader.

For Comprent Motor Sports the Petit Le Mans doubleheader at Road Atlanta is THE event on the Prototype Lites Championship race calendar. Not only does it provide a chance for the highly-rated squad to showcase it wares to the world's premier sports car teams, as well as friends, family and supporters (the team being based just down the road in Athens, Ga.), but is also an ideal opportunity to potentially end the season with another series title. While Comprent Motor Sports ultimately came up just short on championship front, it proved to be the dominating force of the weekend.

Things commenced in ideal fashion, with Rayhall leading the way on the unofficial time charts in pre-event testing. Making the most of his previous experience and success in junior formula cars at the high-speed road course, that trend continued in practice. In what would be a pre-cursor of things to come, the 16 year-old was again the fastest driver in both official practice sessions. It was however not just a one-man show under the Comprent awning, as Gore was also a driver worth watching, going third quick in the final practice run.

Given the results in the lead-up to qualifying, the stage was set for as strong outing by the Comprent Motor Sports duo in the timed run to set the grid for Round 13. Rayhall promptly delivered when the 19-car field took to the track, posting the fastest lap in the No. 77 SCCA Enterprises/Comprent Motor Sports Elan DP02, securing the pole position for his inaugural pro sports car race. Gore, who entered the season-finale event as one of four drivers capable of winning the series title, battled traffic throughout the session, posting the seventh best time when the checkered flag waved.

The duo, however, had little time to reflect on the results from qualifying, as after just enough time to debrief, make any changes to the car and get some food, it was time to go racing. Rayhall immediately made his intentions clear when the green flag waved, as the 2010 SCCA Pro Racing Formula Enterprises Series champion attacked the 2.5-mile track on cold tires, building a sizeable gap on the rest of the field. As impressive as the local racer was, it was his teammate who was keeping the large crowd entertained. Gore, having steered the No. 14 Comprent Motor Sports Elan DP02 into the top-three, dueled for second place lap after lap. While an early race full-course caution briefly bunched the field back together, there was no stopping Rayhall. The Georgia teenager in the end won his Prototype Lites debut by over 10 seconds. Gore made it a double podium finish for Comprent Motor Sports, ensuring the title fight would go down to the last race via a third place finish.

With a pole, a win and two podium finishes already in the record books, the Comprent Motor Sports crew and drivers were looking for more when the cars rolled out for Round 14 on Friday morning. Unlike the opening affair, the green flag for race two of the finale doubleheader featured Rayhall coming under immediate attack. The rookie standout in fact relinquished the lead on the opening tour, slotting in behind another teenage hotshoe. Commencing what would be a race-long duel for top honors, the duo separated themselves from the chasing pack until a lap four caution period. Unfortunately just as the field was getting settled behind the safety car, Gore's race and title aspirations ended. Forced to take evasive action to avoid another competitor, the double race winner went off-course and impacted a tire barrier, ending his race and season prematurely. While disappointed with Gore's sudden retirement, the Comprent crew still had plenty to cheer for when the action resumed. In what was perhaps the best fight for the win during the 2011 season, Rayhall traded places with his counterpart three times, before ultimately setting a new lap record (1:19.434) en route to a 0.696s win.

“Wild is an understatement,” said Rayhall. “It was controlled chaos. But it was a lot of fun. Tristan [Nunez] gave me a run today. Comprent gave me a great car, though I was having problems with the RPMs that affected my shifting. But it’s all about how you bounce back, and we bounced back hard today! It was a great debut for me. It was great racing against Tristan. I can’t wait to race with him again like that!”

“I hate it for Jonathan, but he still finished third in the championship,” said Comprent Motor Sports owner Kevin Kloepfer. “We missed the team championship by a few points, but we got the wins this week and that was good. It’s been a pretty good week for us.”

With the back-to-back wins during the Petit Le Mans doubleheader, Comprent Motor Sports ended the 2011 Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship second in the team standings via five wins and 11 podium finishes. Gore came home third in the final driver rankings.

Comprent Motor Sports concludes its amateur racing program in the coming weeks, before immediately beginning preparations for the 2012 Cooper Tire Prototype Lites Championship. Interested drivers are encourage to contact the Georgia-based team.

Additional information on Comprent Motor Sports can be obtained from the team’s website @ http://www.comprent.net For direct contact, please contact Kevin Kloepfer @ 706-543-1797
Pacific Mountain Central Eastern International



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