Michael Lira’s racing resume got a little bit longer yesterday as he participated in a test session driving a LATAM (Latin America) Formula 2000 car on the road course at Palm Beach International Raceway.
The session was the result of Michael being picked by Autotv Magazine to compete in the 2015 LATAM F2000 season. Every year Autotv Magazine picks an all star team of promising young drivers believed to be the next generation of the motorsports stars. Michael was chosen based on his accomplishments in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, as well as in SCCA and IMSA sports car racing and NASCAR Late Model competition. Autotv Magazine is widely recognized as the longest running Spanish language automotive show in the world, and also a Spanish print publication distributed in the US and around the world.
After climbing out of the open wheel, open cockpit car, Michael commented, “Overall it was a successful test, got the feel for a formula car and got to turn laps on the only track on the series tour that I’m not familiar with. These cars are so much fun, all go, no stop. If you think you’re braking late enough, you’re not. It was amazing to drive something so light weight.”
At the end of the session Michael had logged the second-quickest lap times among the five drivers that participated in the session. He was just a few tenths of a second off the pace of an experienced series driver participating in the test, and more that a full second faster that the other three drivers.
The test was valuable learning experience for the 17-year old Port Orange, FL racer, as he quickly adapted to the finer points of open cockpit driving. “Driving in an open cockpit was new for me,” he stated. “I tried to adjust a belt going down the straightaway and the wind whipped my hand into my helmet.”
Up next for the car-hopping high school Senior is a 50-lap feature Super Late Model race at New Smyrna Speedway this weekend, followed by getting back into his ARCA Racing Series car for the Troop Aid 200 at Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville on April 11th.
You can keep up with Michael throughout the year, as he competes in ARCA Racing Series, NASCAR Late Model, IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and LATAM F2000 competition on Twitter at @1MichaelLira and on Facebook at /MichaelLiraRacingOfficial.