Ft. Lauderdale, FL – With frigid temperatures and sheets of rain falling at Lime Rock Park, Roberto Lorena practiced patience and brought home a third and second place pair of results for defending F2000 Championship winning team HP-Tech Motorsport. Lorena survived some of the most treacherous conditions he has yet to see in his young career, expertly piloting the No. 9 HP-Tech Van Diemen during rounds five and six of the 2013 F2000 season.
But before rounds five and six, Lorena had to overcome a rough Road Atlanta weekend where a lap one incident (he was hit from behind) dashed any hopes of a repeat of his VIR podium.
“Preparation for this weekend started a little bit earlier for us,” said the 17-year-old. “A full day of testing in Monticello was held on Wednesday, where we worked on a lot of things and my driving. Unfortunately the conditions at Lime Rock Park didn’t allow us to apply many of them.”
A wet qualifying session late on Friday afternoon left Lorena just tenth on the F2000 grid.
“Friday was very challenging for us, facing three different track conditions on three sessions, and the size of the track resulted on a qualifying result that didn’t show all the potential of the car,” added Lorena, with a huge field leading to a packed track and several stoppages during qualifying. “A lot of traffic, and the black and yellow flags only allowed us to turn a few fast laps.”
As the green flag dropped on Saturday morning, the young Brazilian would work his way toward the front, passing cars and benefiting from others’ mistakes, to finish third.
“Racing in the rain requires a good start and a lot of patience,” Lorena continued. “Staying on track with a good pace led us to a good result in the first race.”
A few hours later, Lorena was starting seventh for the second race of the weekend, and drove to the front – finishing second. Interestingly, Lorena was among just a few drivers taking a rain line, low and off the greasy track down the front straight.
“For the second race of the day I had a great start, passing four cars in turn one. If it stayed like that, it would already be another podium finish, but patience led us to a second place,” Lorena noted.
“Overall it was a great weekend for all of us of HP Tech. The two podium finishes made up for the DNF at Road Atlanta, and will definitely help us in our Championship chase.”
Lorena hopes to carry his improving performance to Watkins Glen International, where HP-Tech will join the F2000 Series along with Grand-Am on June 27-29. The event marks rounds seven and eight of the 14-race 2013 season, and the second race of the weekend will be extra special, marking the 100th race in the history of the current F2000 Series.
HP-Tech, which won 11 of 14 races in the 2012 F2000 Series, has seats available for the rest of the F2000 Series season.