In 2006, the International Motor Sport Association (IMSA) introduced IMSA Lites. The series was created to provide an opportunity for drivers competing at the amateur level to advance to a professional series or to prepare for a category such as the American Le Mans (ALMS). The mission is to develop future drivers and teams for the ALMS.

IMSA Lites features three classes of purpose-built sports racing prototypes – Lites 1, Lites 2 and Lites 3. The primary factor determining the categorization of a car is engine displacement.

  • Lites 1 (L1) – This is the fastest category. The most common vehicle in this group is the Elan DP-02 manufactured by Elan Van Diemen. The DP-02 features a carbon fiber monocoque fitted with an aerodynamic package that includes a front splitter, diffuser and rear wing. The car is powered by a 2.3-liter four-cylinder Mazda MZR motor mounted to a six-speed sequential transmission.
  • Lites 2 (L2) – This group includes several chassis and engine combinations. The West WR1000 is a popular choice powered by a 1000-cc Kawasaki ZX engine. The car also uses an electronic paddle-shift system.
  • Lites 3 (L3) – Only one car competes in this category. The Van Diemen DP-06, introduced by the Sports Car Club of America in 2002, is powered by a 2.3-liter Mazda MZR engine.

2007 IMSA Lites Championship consisted of six race weekends, with doubleheaders at each event.

  • March 16-17 – Sebring International Raceway
  • May 18-19 – Miller Motorsports Park
  • July 6-7 - Lime Rock Park
  • August 25-26 – Mosport International Raceway
  • October 4-5 - Road Atlanta
  • October 20-21 – Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

In addition to a driver’s championship, there are also titles for Teams and Constructors.

The opening rounds of the 2007 IMSA Lites Championship presented by Hankook Performance Tires was held at Sebring International Raceway during the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring event. Drivers would compete in two races around the seventeen-turn 3.74-mile road course.

The No. 9 BK Motorsports / Skip Barber Elan DP-02 was driven by Gerardo Bonilla. Before entering the IMSA Lites series, he had completed in many open-wheel divisions and won the 2005 Skip Barber National Championship. Bonilla proved to be a quick study and qualified on the overall and L1 pole in his debut. In the first race, he led flag-to-flag. Bonilla started second in the finale but collected another victory.
The first L2 victory of the year went to John Greene. Greene raced the No. 23 PVM Racing prepared West WR1000 and qualified twentieth overall and a distant fifth to the class pole-sitter, Dan McBreen. He found more speed in the race and finished seventh overall on the way to the class win. Greene was gridded fourteenth and fourth in L2 in round two, but he would finish sixth in his category.
Robby Card competed in last season’s L2 category. He started 2006 in a Radical but switched to a PVM Racing prepared West WR1000. Card returned to PVM for this year’s campaign driving the No. 45 West. He qualified second in class for the weekend’s first contest and finished a distant sixth in his group. However, Card qualified on the class pole in the finale, finished fifth overall, and took the L2 win.
Last year, Richard Spicer ran a limited schedule. But the 2001 and 2002 Spec Racer Ford National champion was always a threat to win and he proved it by sweeping the first two L3 rounds he entered at Mid-Ohio. At Sebring International Raceway, Spicer was racing the familiar No. 65 Hagerman RacEngineering Van Diemen DP-06 and won the L3 category in race one and ended the weekend with a fourth place.
Another successful Sports Car Club of America Spec Racer Ford competitor entered in the series is Chris Funk. Last season, Funk competed in the IMSA Lites championship, driving the No. 5 KC Racing Van Diemen DP-06. He returned this year with the same car and team. He qualified behind and finished second to the L3 pole-sitter, Richard Spicer, in the first race. The next day, Funk won the class by a margin of 1.415-seconds.
Chasing the L1 winner, Gerardo Bonilla, both days was Tonis Kasemets in the No. 6 Elan DP-02. Like Bonilla, Kasemets entered the IMSA Lites series with a tremendous amount of open-wheel experience; he was the 2000 Formula Continental National Champion. Kasemets qualified third for round one but finished second by 0.818-seconds. He ended the weekend with the pole but another runner-up result.
Mark White competed in last season’s IMSA Lites series, driving the No. 02 Accumoto Motorsports prepared West WR1000. He returned in 2007 for another shot at the L2 title with the same combination of car and team. He started this year’s first contest sixth in class and chased the leader, John Greene, to a runner-up result. White started third in his category the next day and finished second to Robby Card.

1L1Gerardo BonillaElan DP-0210-
2L1Tonis KasemetsElan DP-0210-
3L1Kerry JacobsenElan DP-0210-
4L1John BenderElan DP-0210-
5L1Mishael AbbottElan DP-0210-
6L1Kurt RoehrigElan DP-0210-
7L2John GreeneWest WR100010-
8L2Mark WhiteWest WR100010-
9L1Bob HumphreysElan DP-0210-
10L2Alex GonzalezWest WR100010-
11L2Scott TuckerWest WR100010-
12L2Eric VassianWest WR100010-
13L3Richard SpicerVan Diemen DP-0610-
14L3Chris FunkVan Diemen DP-0610-
15L1Jon BrownsonElan DP-0210-
16L2Robby CardWest WR100010-
17L3Kelly ToombsVan Diemen DP-0610-
18L3Paul SchneiderVan Diemen DP-0610-
19L3Robert MummVan Diemen DP-0610-
20L2Edward ZabinskiWest WR100010-
21L1Dan WeylandElan DP-0210-
22L1Richard BerryElan DP-028Did Not Finish
23L2Dan McBreenWest WR10007Did Not Finish
24L1Jim FerroElan DP-027Did Not Finish
25L1Charlie ShearsElan DP-022Did Not Finish
26L2Carl SkerlongWest WR10001Did Not Finish
27L1Johnny MeriggiElan DP-020Did Not Finish
28L1Joel FeinbergElan DP-027Excluded
29L1Chris MeredithElan DP-023Excluded

1L1Gerardo BonillaElan DP-028-
2L1Tonis KasemetsElan DP-028-
3L1Kerry JacobsenElan DP-028-
4L1Charlie ShearsElan DP-028-
5L2Robby CardWest WR10008-
6L2Mark WhiteWest WR10008-
7L1Chris MeredithElan DP-028-
8L2Alex GonzalezWest WR10008-
9L1Richard BerryElan DP-028-
10L2Edward ZabinskiWest WR10008-
11L1Joel FeinbergElan DP-028-
12L1Jon BrownsonElan DP-028-
13L2Dan McBreenWest WR10008-
14L2John GreeneWest WR10008-
15L2Eric VassianWest WR10008-
16L1Jim FerroElan DP-028-
17L3Chris FunkVan Diemen DP-068-
18L3Paul SchneiderVan Diemen DP-068-
19L3Kelly ToombsVan Diemen DP-068-
20L1Kurt RoehrigElan DP-026Did Not Finish
21L1Mishael AbbottElan DP-021Did Not Finish
22L3Richard SpicerVan Diemen DP-061Did Not Finish
23L1Dan WeylandElan DP-021Did Not Finish
24L1Bob HumphreysElan DP-020Did Not Start
25L1John BenderElan DP-020Did Not Start
26L1Johnny MeriggiElan DP-020Did Not Start
27L2Scott TuckerWest WR10000Did Not Start
28L2Carl SkerlongWest WR10000Did Not Start
29L3Robert MummVan Diemen DP-060Did Not Start

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