This week Australian Tom Drewer will compete in the final two rounds of the 2009 IMSA Lites Championship presented by Frisby Performance Tire as part of the 12th Annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda 6.

The event held at Road Atlanta, Braselton is effectively Drewer’s home event as he’s been staying in Georgia for the past two years during the racing season.

“My US base has been Georgia for two years now. Both West Races Cars, who I drove for last year, and Comprent Motor Sports are based here and I have been staying in Atlanta and Athens, both only about an hour from the circuit. I guess you could say it’s a home away from home.”

So does the young Le Mans hopeful feel that this gives him a hometown advantage?

“I don’t think so. Although living close to the circuit has allowed me to visit a few race meetings I have been on a very limited budget so it’s not like I’ve done many laps around it. Its not since the start of the year that I have turned a wheel around here. This will only be my fourth or fifth time on the circuit. Most of the guys I am competing against have been driving this place for years.”

However, his lack of experience around the fast undulating 2.54mile (4km) track didn’t sway Drewer last year. From pole position Drewer won his first two races at Road Atlanta setting a new track lap record in the process. It was his 7th and 8th win of the 2008 season and allowed Drewer to wrap up the 2008 IMSA Lites 2 Championship with two rounds remaining.

This year Drewer has moved up a class and is driving a Comprent Motor Sport prepared Élan DP-02 in the Lites 1 category.

“2009 has certainly been more of a rollercoaster than last year. It has in many ways been more of a learning year too, even though 2008 was my first here in America.

I proved in New Jersey I have what it takes. I am focused on finishing the year, here at Road America on another positive note.”

In New Jersey Drewer put his Ubantu Resort sponsored car on pole position with the fastest lap of the weekend and dominated the first half of the race.

“I’m determined to end the season on a high. It’s the best way I can repay all those who are helping me achieve my dreams and goal of becoming Australia’s next Le Mans winner.

I want to use this opportunity to thank everyone who is behind me. Particularly John Trimble and Nichole Jennings from Ubantu Resort, my mother and father for giving up so much, Terry Little and all of my friends, family and fans back home in Australia who share my belief and give up their hard-earned cash to make this happen. We are getting closer.

I am ready to make the next step. Part of my focus this year has been developing into a well-rounded driver.

I have been working on my physical and mental fitness with Gary Daniels and Health Defense. I have tested a GT2 car and have another test announcement to make soon. I am already talking to teams about next year, looking at both GT and prototype drives including the new ALMS Le Mans prototype Challenge class using the Oreca-Courage P2 Formula Le Mans car.

But my focus for this week is Road Atlanta. The Petit Le Mans event is always fantastic. Looks like it may be a wet race week so that could be interesting. It’s an extremely challenging circuit in the dry!”

Drewer and the IMSA Lites are scheduled to hit the track on Tuesday morning for free practise. Official practise takes place Wednesday, Qualifying and Race 1 at 5:20pm Thursday and Race 2 at 12:10pm Friday.