Thursday, March 06, 2008

PVM Buys West Race Cars

PVM Motorsports announced today the acquisition of West Race. West's Portland assembly plant will be moved to PVM's expanded facilities in Atlanta, GA, housing both race team operations for PVM Motorsports and manufacturing for West Race Cars.

“I’m extremely excited to have the opportunity to acquire, establish and grow the West Race Cars company here in Atlanta,” said Eric Vassian, CEO and President of both PVM Motorsports and now West. “I have worked closely with West over the past two years and look forward to now combining the efforts between our race team and manufacturing plant to build exciting new cars in the months ahead”

West CEO, Ted Spooner said “I’m confident Eric will do a great job with West. He has a passion for the business of racing and plans to grow and expand the West product line. His proven track record for customer service and marketing will bode well for West moving forward.”

West Race Cars is the sole constructor for the L2 class of the very successful IMSA Lites presented by Hankook series. PVM Racing has been part of the series since it’s inception in 2006, winning consecutive team championships and driver championships. “Our partnership with IMSA has worked very well over the years and we will continue to focus our efforts on IMSA Lites, the premier sports racing series in the world. We are in the planning stages for the 2009 racing season and you will see some exciting changes coming from West Race Cars.”

Tim Mayer, IMSA President and COO of the American Le Mans Series, “We have every confidence in Eric and believe he will continue to maintain the standards of excellence established by West in the IMSA Lites Series. We look forward to an exciting season of racing in the L2 class from the West competitors.”

For more information about West Race Cars or PVM Motorsports contact West at (404) 376-8282. The IMSA Lites presented by Hankook series kicks off at the Mobil1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 13

[ PVM Motorsports website ]

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

IMSA Names New Lites Manager

IMSA announced the immediate appointment of Mike Simons as Manager of Development Series, with his direct responsibilities being to manage IMSA Lites presented by Hankook and the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Michelin.

Mike's background includes 26 years of motorsports management experience, working with a variety of sanctioning bodies including NASCAR with the Goody's Dash Series, where he was series administrator; the SCCA and CART, where he was with the TransAm series as logistics manager.

"Both of these IMSA series have seen explosive growth, and it was critical to bring someone with Mike's level of experience to be a full time manager for these series, if they were to continue to see the phenomenal growth that they have enjoyed to this point," said Tim Mayer, Chief Operating Officer of IMSA. "The competitors in these series deserve our undivided attention; bringing Mike on-board ensures that we have both a dedicated Manager and the right level of experience to work with these great series."

"I have always enjoyed working closely with competitors," said Simons. "So the opportunity to work directly with the competitors of these two series is a great opportunity. There is still a lot of work to be done between now and the first races at Sebring, but luckily IMSA has retained the experience of many of the same people who have been working with these two series previously. My job is to grow the level of service that the teams can expect to receive, and to grow the profile of these series, as they compete in front of the greatest sports car fans in the world ? the American Le Mans Series fans."

Mike will be based full time at the IMSA office, and has started into his duties immediately.

The IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Michelin has rapidly grown into one of the largest Porsche Cup series in the world, this year featuring as many as 50 amateur competitors on the grid. The series will race at seven events this year; six times with the American Le Mans Series and once at the Unites States Grand Prix as a support race to the Formula One event in June. The series in being sponsored for the third year by Michelin, which has supported Porsche 911 GT3 Cup racing around the world including with the Michelin SuperCup Series, which is the world-wide pinnacle of the sport, all the way through to supporting club racing events.

The IMSA Lites presented by Hankook grew explosively in its first year in 2006 and looks to continue to grow in 2007, featuring the best in prototype sports racers in three classes. The L:1 Class features the carbon monocoque Elan DP02, designed and produced by the same team that has brought to life the next-generation Champ Car, the DP01. The L:2 class features the very best of the 1000cc class of sports-racer with the West WR-1000L, leading the way in cost-effective, high-performance racing. The L:3 class features the Van Diemen / Elan DP06, which is the SCCA Sports Racer class of car, and is marketed by SCCA Enterprises. This class is the most cost effective way to race in front of the crowds of the American Le Mans Series, which all three classes will do at six events this year.

Drivers and teams from both of these series compete as part of the sports-car festivals that the American Le Mans Series provides, operated and sanctioned by IMSA, which also operates the American Le Mans Series. For GT and Prototype drivers, teams and owners, both series represent a viable step towards the top levels of the sport.

[ IMSA Lites Series ]


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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

IMSA Lites 2007 Schedule Announced

The IMSA Lites 2007 schedule will expand to 12 races at six venues. Like 2006, IMSA Lites will conduct two races per event weekend as it partners exclusively with the American Le Mans Series. The new class structure was also confirmed.

Coming off an inaugural season that included full fields of cars and competitors at the most recognized circuits in North America, IMSA today announced the 2007 schedule for IMSA Lites that sees new venues and additional races for its teams and competitors.

IMSA, the Georgia-based sanctioning body also will take on responsibility for all facets of competition starting next season. IMSA’s long list of at-track services will be made available for all teams and competitors including technical inspections, timing and scoring and registration.


Date / Event / Location

March 16-17 / Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring / Sebring Inter. Raceway, Sebring, Fla.

May 18-19 / Utah Grand Prix / Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, Utah

July 06-07 / New England Grand Prix / Lime Rock Park, Lakeville, Conn.

Aug. 25-26 / Grand Prix of Mosport / Mosport Raceway, Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada

Oct. 04-05 /Petit Le Mans / Road Atlanta, Braselton, Ga.

Oct. 20-21* / Monterey Sports Car Championships / Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, Calif., *Subject to final confirmation by promoter.


As is the case with North America’s premier brand of motorsport, IMSA Lites will feature multi-class racing. It presents a dimension of competition as drivers must be aware of the class’ distinctly different speeds as they navigate the race tracks. It is the same challenge American Le Mans Series drivers face.

“In its first year, IMSA Lites demonstrated that it is the right product at the right time,” said Tim Mayer, COO of IMSA. “The 2007 series schedule and complete oversight by IMSA will continue to add value to the IMSA Lites package. We appreciate the cooperation and support of our partners with Elan Motorsport Technologies and West Race Cars, and we all have great expectations for 2007 and beyond for IMSA Lites.”

“Our goal is to differentiate IMSA Lites from other styles of sportscar racing,” continued Mayer. “Along with premier events, we have focused on creating great clarity for the customers. Three homologated cars, one for each class, makes sure that competitors will be focused on the racing, not on who can create the next best tweak. IMSA’s technical staff are highly capable and are focused on keeping the competition on the race track, not in the garage. So with great cars, great racing, great venues and clear organization, we think that this will be the defining series at this level of sportscar racing.”

New for 2007 is an updated class structure, designed to keep the simplicity of the original structure, money saving stability for the competitors, eliminating the need for constant updates, which has been a feature of this style of racing. IMSA Lites features three separate classes of open-top sports racer prototypes – Lites1 , Lites2 and Lites3. The series offers a step up to those racers who would like to advance beyond the club racing level and run at some of the most prestigious sportscar events in North America.


Lites1 is exclusively for the DP02 chassis designed and produced by Elan Motorsport Technologies. It features a carbon-fiber monocoque, race-designed suspension and uprights, a six-speed sequential gearbox, and a full aerodynamic package that features a front splitter, diffuser and rear wing. It will be powered by 2.3-liter, inline four engines prepared and sealed by Elan Power Products, along with a full ECU, racing dash and data logger.

“These cars are designed and prepared by the same team that has designed and prepared the new DP01 Champ Car,” said Elan Motorsports Technologies CEO, David Bowes. “An affordable race car with this level of technology built in creates great value for our customers, and we are delighted to be a founding partner in the IMSA Lites category, where we are sure that the close racing and great venues will provide enormous excitement in the series.”


West Race Cars is the exclusive provider for chassis in Lites2. The WR1000 racer is powered by a 1,000-cc Kawasaki powerplant prepared and sealed by Muzzys. Featuring exciting styling and performance, along with excellent customer service, the West has rapidly become one of the most desirable products in the “D-Sport” category of race cars.

“West Race Cars is pleased to continue our association with IMSA and the rapidly growing IMSA Lites Series," said Ted Spooner, CEO of West Race Cars. “Providing chassis on an exclusive basis for the Lites 2 class gives us the opportunity to increase our brand awareness and retain our growing relationship with IMSA. This also allows us to maintain and grow our customer base, many of which have future aspirations of continuing to climb the IMSA ladder onto the American Le Mans Series.”


Lites 3 will be made up of Formula SCCA cars designed by Elan/VanDiemen and sold by SCCA Enterprises. This forms an easily accessible, low cost entry level into the series and racing in front of professional crowds, in a car that is readily available.

Entry forms for IMSA Lites will be available shortly on the sanctioning body’s Web site,


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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Single Marques for 2007 IMSA Lites

The allowed chassis for each of the three IMSA Lites classes were announced as Elan, West, and SRSCCA.

Elan Motorsports Technologies.
Braselton, GA.

The three classes for IMSA LITES in 2007 have now been established as follows:-

LITES 1 class will be all Elan DP02 chassis. No other manufacturer to participate in the class.

LITES 2 class will be all West chassis. No other manufacturer to participate in the class.

LITES 3 class will be all SRSCCA.

The rules and regulations for each class will be published in the next few weeks. The 2007 schedule will be published very soon and will be similar if not the same as 2006.

David Bowes, CEO of Elan Motorsports Technologies said “I am pleased with the fact that the rules will be stable for the next five years. Anyone buying an Elan DP02 can be confident of good competitive racing in IMSA LITES for years to come. Elan will continue to develop the DP02 to become more competitive in the C Sports Racer category of the SCCA for 2007.”

Elan also announced that Kevin Kloepfer, founder and owner of Comprent Motorsports, is to be the sole agent and distributor of the Elan DP02 chassis and parts with immediate effect. Anyone interested in purchasing a DP02 should visit the Elan website and contact Kevin on 706 543 1797 ext 22 or e-mail Christian Rushforth (Chief Designer of Sports Cars at Elan) at

David Bowes added “I believe that IMSA LITES class 1 will become a very important rung on the progression ladder for ambitious young drivers. Elan will be offering the most successful DP02 driver a test drive with one of the leading Star Mazda teams at the end of 2007 and there is also the opportunity for the right driver to test with the Panoz GT2 team next year. Elan will be organizing winter open test sessions at Road Atlanta and Sebring during the next three months, with driver coaching and factory team assistance. All customer (and potential customer) teams are invited. We have sold over 20 DP02 cars to date this year but we still have a limited number of cars for sale over the winter on a first-come first-served basis.”

For more information, see the
[ IMSA Lites website ]


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Friday, September 29, 2006

McBreen & West Clinch IMSA Lites 2

With a record 9 out of 10 wins in the Lites 2 category West Races cars dominated the inaugural 2006 IMSA Lites Championship season. West customer Dan McBreen clinched the Lites 2 Driver’s Championship in race one with a second place finish. McBreen recorded a total 4 wins and 3 second place finishes earning the best overall record of the IMSA Lites 2 field for the season. All this occurred at the 9th running of the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta which was the setting for the final IMSA Lites Championship event supporting the American Le Mans Series for its Petit Le Mans event.

West factory driver Duncan Ende led the race through lap 15 but retired early with gearbox problems. In race two however Ende dominated the 20 lap sprint recording the fastest lap for the weekend with a time of 1:25.42. Ende completed his IMSA Lites season with a near perfect record of 5 wins out of 6 events entered. West Race Cars completed the IMSA Lites championship with a record 9 out of 10 wins for it’s WR1000 Lites 2 cars.

“This has been the most successful period in the 5 year history of the company,” said West Executive Director Ted Spooner. “Not only have we grown and developed IMSA Lites with our partners at Elan and IMSA, but we’ve also opened new markets for the sports-racer category with our success in Australia. This success is the result of the creativity and dedication of our valued employees. I’d like to especially thank both Leo Matthews and John Bender for their efforts in developing our products to the winning standard we see today.”
Tim Mayer – IMSA Chief Operating Officer, “We look forward to a continued strong partnership with West for the expanded 2007 IMSA Lites season. The West team has delivered not only highly competitive cars to the Lites 2 category but quality teams and drivers.”

“We want to thank all our partner teams and suppliers that helped make this inaugural IMSA Lites season such a huge success,” remarked West President Ben Odenborg. “With the support of Jon Batos at Formula Motorsports, Rob Muzzy of Muzzy Performance Products, Kawasaki of America, Quaife Engineering, Swift Engineering, Kit Composites and all our valued suppliers we have created a truly winning team.

[ IMSA Lites Series ]

[ West Race Cars, LLC ]
2774 North Hayden Island Drive
Portland, Oregon 97217


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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

West Ships 3 IMSA Lites 2 Cars

West Race Cars today announced the delivery of 3 IMSA Lites 2 sports racers to PVM Motorsports of Atlanta, Georgia. PVM is the dominant supplier of prototype sports racecars in the southeastern United States. With this delivery West has confirmed 12 customer cars to the IMSA Lites grid for the inaugural season of this American Le Mans support series.

Eric Vassian, Managing Director of PVM said, “We are extremely excited about taking delivery of our first West cars. The fit and finish is absolutely top-notch and the performance has already been proven many times over in the past. We can't wait for the first race!

West is the championship-winning constructor of sports racing prototypes. With over 75 SCCA National and Regional wins and 3 SCCA National Championships in factory and customer racecars, West is the premier constructor of sports prototype racecars. For 2006 West has been selected as one of three constructors providing race cars to the International Motor Sports Association’s 2006 Championship – IMSA Lites. This historic prototype racing support series has been restored after a 13 year hiatus to support the American Le Mans series, the premier prototype and GT endurance racing series in the world.

West Race Cars, LLC
2774 North Hayden Island Drive
Portland, Oregon 97217

PVM Motorsports


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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Elan DP02 Ready for CSR & IMSA Lites

In response to customer demand, Elan has announced that volume production is now rolling from the company's main factory in Braselton, GA. The company is banking on CSR interest to compliment their orders for the high dollar Lites cars.

The all-new-for-2006 IMSA Lites sports car race series received a major boost today when Indy-winning racecar manufacturer Elan Motorsports Technologies announced that their own IMSA Lites contender has moved into volume customer production.

There has already been strong customer interest in the Elan Van Diemen DP02 model, (so named after Panoz Motorsports Group and ALMS founder Dr. Don Panoz), as up-and-coming pro race drivers have recognised that IMSA Lites is the best way to showcase their talent in front of American Le Mans Series team bosses, and so grab hold of a rung on the international racing career ladder.

And if the new IMSA Lites race series itself has great potential, then the logic of these new Elan customers has been that the Racecar they choose must be the very best package available, at the right price. And that is exactly where the DP02 Sports Racer has caused some highly favourable comment.

The DP02 car - designed and built by the same EMT group which has won 3 Indy 500's with the Panoz G Force, and countless ALMS races in the much loved Panoz 'Batmobile', and which has designed and built over 120 of the ultra successful Star Mazda formula cars - combines a carbon composite tub, with a 6 speed sequential gearbox and the Elan Power Products developed Ford Duratec 2.3 liter race engine. That is a lot of race car for Elan's now-announced price of just $73,000, for a fully assembled ready-to-drive race car.*

David Bowes, CEO of Elan Motorsport Technologies Inc., which builds all the cars produced under the Elan, Panoz and Van Diemen brand names, said:- "The DP02 has been a revelation in testing at our nearby Road Atlanta facility - quick, reliable and 'excellent to drive'. Given the amount of the very latest motorsports technology that is packed into this Racecar, and given its strong prospects in IMSA Lites as a winner - plus its nation wide customer base as a sensational SCCA C-SR division contender - I know we are going to be selling a lot of these cars!"

Apart from the super competitive price, the key technical attractions of the DP02 are: . An immensely strong carbon composite chassis . Race engine from market leaders Elan Power Products, with a 2500 mile service life . 6 speed sequential Hewland gearbox . Cockpit safety features include anti-intrusion panels, F.3 spec head restraint . High spec electrics, harness, instrumentation and engine management systems . Brakes are 4 pot callipers; steering is by race-winning Van Diemen system

Says David Bowes: "Where we really score with teams embarking on the IMSA Lites Series trail is in customer service and at-track engineering capability. Some of our best engineers have been involved in the design and build of these new cars, and they will be at every race with a full support package, along with a full spares service direct from the factory. So whatever the race weekend brings, Elan's engineers and spare parts experts are there to get you back out racing".

There is no doubt that everyone at Elan is fired up about this new car and the new IMSA Lites series. The IMSA Lites DP02 delivers the best value - world class engineering and design experience, delivering a race-winning car for America's quickest stars of the future!

For full technical specification and an information pack contact Jeff Stancoff at
Elan Motorsports Technologies
(706) 658-2672

Read related discussion on the Sports Racer forum.

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Friday, January 20, 2006

ALMS Announces IMSA Lites

Ten races at five venues in 2006 make up the inaugural season of IMSA Lites, the new sports racer series sanctioned by the International Motor Sports Association. The schedule, announced today by IMSA COO Tim Mayer, includes stops at a selection of North America's finest, most historic venues.

IMSA Lites will feature two classes of open-top sports racer prototypes – Lites 1 and Lites 2. IMSA Lites offers a step up for those racers who would like to advance beyond the club racing level or in preparation for a career in a world-class organization like the American Le Mans Series.

The series will be managed by Formula Motorsports' Jon Baytos, who also is responsible for the highly successful Formula Ford 2000 series.

After debuting at Road Atlanta as part of the Drift Atlanta weekend May 12-13, IMSA Lites will join the American Le Mans Series four times – at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lime Rock Park, Road America and Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta – for the balance of its inaugural season.

Elan VanDiemen will supply Lites 1 chassis for IMSA Lites. The DP02 Sports Racer features a carbon-fiber monocoque, race-designed suspension and uprights, a six-speed sequential gearbox, and a full aerodynamic package that features a front splitter, diffuser and rear wing. The DP02 will be powered by 2.3-liter, four-cylinder Mazda MPZ engine that will be sealed by Elan Power Products.

Radical also will be providing a Lites 1 chassis featuring a 1500cc Powertec engine. In addition, Elan VanDiemen, West Race Cars and Radical all will provide chassis for Lites 2. The cars will be smaller and lighter (about 200 pounds) and will be equipped with 1,000-cc Suzuki GSXR engines.

The affordability of the series is further enhanced by requiring all competitors to use the highly successful Cooper Tires UHP Cooper Zeon Radial. Sunoco will be the spec fuel for the race series.


May 12-13, Drift Atlanta, Road Atlanta, Braselton, Ga.
May 19-21, American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio
June 29-July 1, New England Grand Prix, Lime Rock Park, Lakeville, Conn.
August 18-20, Generac 500 at Road America, Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wis.
Sept. 27-30, Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta, Braselton, Ga.

Read more details in the Full Press Release.

For further information about the series contact Jon Baytos at Formula Motorsports Inc., (941) 729-5706


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Friday, November 04, 2005

IMSA Lites (SC3 & SC4) in 2006?

West Race Cars announced today their "selection as one of three constructors of sportsracing prototypes competing in the ALMS support series IMSA Lites for 2006."

Neither the IMSA website nor the ALMS website have publicly announced such a series (as of November 17th).

The West Race Cars website also states
"Formula Motorsports and West Race Cars today signed a multi-year agreement to provide sports racing prototypes for the new IMSA Lites series.

The multi-national championship winning West DSR and CSR chassis will be the bassis for the new IMSA LITES SC3 and SC4 sportsracers. West will support customers competing in this professional series at all ALMS events for the inaugural season."
The West site also states, "The IMSA Lites car meets with 1000 lbs. (452 kilo) minimum weight with appropriate ballast."

The unofficial word is that IMSA may put out a press release, announcing the series, the week of November 21.

It's not clear whether West's "co-signer" is the Forumla Motorsports which was part of the Cooper Tire Championship Series announcement in March, 2004.

Check the West Race Cars website for further details.

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