No. 7 Louis Moinet sponsored Elan DP-02 Race Car Win in 2009 IMSA Race Season Opener
Primetime Team owner and driver Joel Feinberg and son Peter on the podium at Sebring International Raceway
Primetime Race Teams Dodge Viper is ready for the 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring
Joel Feinberg's Dodge Viper has a V10 engine and was developed for the ALMS GT2 Class
The driver’s meetings are working. Despite all the hurdles of being a non-factory team, Feinberg kicked off the 2009 season with a win in the IMSA season opener in Florida. He drove the No. 7 Louis Moinet sponsored Elan DP-02 race car at the Sebring International Raceway IMSA Lites track.
The Fort Lauderdale, Florida driver started race one from second place after the morning qualifying session. Feinberg was overtaken at the start of the race by series newcomer Kyle Marcelli going into turn one. Feinberg caught Marcelli on the back straight and followed closely behind race leader Matt Downs. Feinberg passed Downs on the outside of turn eight and took the checkered flag.
“I like to start all the endurance races,” said Feinberg. “The tone of the race gets set at the start. Everyone is jockeying for position going into that first corner. We go from ten cars side-by-side to only two or three cars trying to fit. I want to take responsibility for this very difficult part of the race.”
The IMSA Races are part of the American Le Mans Series. “Sometimes we run both cars on the same day,” said Feinberg. “There will be times I get out of one car, grab something to drink and get into the other car and go. It’s not an easy thing to do. It takes a lot of focus to use different gears and a different style of driving.”
Feinberg’s No. 11 GT2 Dodge Viper was made as a competition coupe for the European racing circuit. “We took it and developed it for the GT2 Class,” he said. “It has a V10 engine and we run a K&N air filter. K&N gives us excellent filtration and more air in competitions. The Viper is one of the fastest cars on the straight-aways, but it does not corner as well because it’s heavy. We would love to spend tens of thousands on parts, but we’re not factory supported and we make choices.”
Factory teams are at a much higher level financially than the privateer teams. “I count my dollars and make decisions on how many guys to have at the track,” he said. “It’s tough because the factory teams may have five guys just sitting there on the sidelines and we’re going non-stop.”
The Elan DP-02 is a purpose built sports car for the IMSA Lights Series. It has a 2.3 liter Mazda Motor and reaches speeds of 150 mph. “Driving the Elan DP-02 is more intense than the Viper,” said Feinberg. “It’s a completely different car. It’s very light, aerodynamic and makes a lot of down force. It also has a carbon fiber tub chassis. Our K&N air filter is a great match for this car.”
The Primetime Race Group will have three drivers in rotation at the Twelve Hours of Sebring. Feinberg will start. “There are times when I’m begging to get out of the car because it’s so physical,” he said. “There are also times when I want to run the whole race and don’t want to get out of the car. I love what I do. When I’m racing it’s truly my best personal satisfaction.”
Feinberg has proven he can run with the big boys and win even though he is a privateer.
The 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring takes place Saturday March 21. It will be air on SPEED-TV, American Le Mans Radio.
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