Nunez Sweeps Up In IMSA Lites
SEBRING, Fla. — Rookie Tristan Nunez made a statement in the opening rounds of the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda series, dominating both races at Sebring (Fla.) Int’l Raceway during the 60th anniversary of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida.
Nunez, a 16-year-old sensation from Boca Raton, Fla., won Race 2 on Friday, exactly 24 hours after he won Race 1, which was the opening-round of the 2012 Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered by Mazda series. Driving the No. 16 Performance Tech Motorsports/Uncle Jim Élan DP02 prototype, Nunez started on the pole and led every lap on his way to another convincing victory.
He beat Jon Brownson to the line by 6.095 seconds, breaking his one-day Prototype Lites track record on the way with a lap of 2 minutes, .024 of a second.
“Yesterday we were pushing hard the whole race,” Nunez said. “We were running consistent laps, but we were kind of on the edge the whole time yesterday. So this race, we decided to step back a little bit and conserve the car throughout the race.”
Brownson, from Breckenridge, Colo., thrilled the massive Sebring crowd with a spirited drive to second place. After starting sixth in the No. 34 Eurosport Racing/Little Mountain Development/West Ridge Development Élan DP02 prototype, Brownson had moved into fourth place only to fall back in the pack after spinning in Turn 7. But by the time the checkered flag dropped, he was running alone in second place.
Just like Nunez, Scott Tucker of Madison, Wis., dominated the L2 class in his Level 5 Motorsports WEST WR1000 car at Sebring. His 10th-place overall finish earned him the L2 class victory for the second straight day. Alan Wilzig, from New York, finished second in the L2 class and 11th overall in his WEST WR 1000.BREAKING NEWS: SPEED SPORT is back in print with a new monthly format! Subscribe for just $24.95. Special offer for former subscribers.