Jerome Mee scored a second-place finish in Round 7 of the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Powered By Mazda championship in the Lites 2 class July 12 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Alta Velocita Racing (AVR) driver/ team owner Mee's first laps on the 10-turn, 2.459-mile permanent road course took place July 9 during the promoter test. Mee quickly learned the ins and outs of the fast, fearsome circuit before the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) Development Series began official practice July 10.
"The track is tricky because there are a lot of blind turns, and as you enter the turns, the track drops off," Mee said. "So you turn in, the car lifts, and you can't see where you're going. Then it settles, and you have to turn. It's a big boy track, that's for sure. But once I got it down, it was very fun."
Mee, driving the No. 95 Alta Velocita Racing machine, fought for position in a hard, fair duel with L2 competitor Brian Alder of BAR1 Motorsports in the 30-minute sprint race Saturday.
"I knew immediately that I had pace on Brian, but I have to give him due credit," Mee said. "He did an absolutely masterful job of keeping the car in the right place, which made it difficult for me to pass.
Round 8 Sunday morning was not as smooth sailing for Mee, who completed just nine laps and encountered five spins in rainy conditions.
"On Sunday I used rain tires that I bought with the car more than two years ago, and we've run on them three or four times," Mee said. "I just had no grip, and we were using a pretty aggressive car setup on the front end, which was causing the rear end to be loose. I was nursing the car so much, and I couldn't get the car to stick."
Mee believes circumstances out of his control may have hindered his overall weekend fortune.
"Our pace was excellent, and our setup was good this weekend," Mee said. "I think we were just subject to racing circumstances in qualifying with a wreck that cut qualifying short. If I would have qualified P1 and had a cleaner lap, I think I would have kept Brian behind me in the race because I had pace on him. At the end of the day, that's racing. I just feel fortunate that I have someone out there I can compete with so tightly."
Mee will take a break before heading to Road America in Wisconsin for the next round of the series Aug. 9-10.