Northern Conference, Formula Continental
Robert Allaer, of Lithia, Fla., had two major mechanical challenges, behind the wheel of the No. 52 Voss/Martini/LTD Motorsports Van Diemen to take home the big trophy in Formula Continental, for the Northern Conference, in 2013.
The first issue came at Michigan International Speedway.
“About seven laps in, my gear shift broke,” Allaer said. “The car was stuck in 4th gear. I had to continue to drive the car in a way I wasn't used to. On the straight, I was able to get up to speed, but I needed to carry as much speed as possible through Turn One, as well as other slow turns, so I wouldn't stall. Luckily, I had built up enough of lead that I limped the rest of the way to a win.”
The penultimate conference race of the season, at Gingerman Raceway, also caused some headache for Allaer and his team.
“On the very first lap, an over-aggressive driver tried to dive bomb me into the last turn,” Allaer said. “But instead, locked up his brakes and slammed into the side of me, taking me off the track. After losing three positions, I battled back as was able to win the race.
“The rest of the weekend was equally tough. I had a flat tire, gear shift break, as well as contact with other drivers.”
In the end, Allaer was very happy to walk away with the conference title.
“I am very excited to be the first US Majors Tour Northern Conference Champion,” Allaer said. “There are many great drivers in this area of the country, and the fact that I can even compete with those guys is an accomplishment in itself. This being only my fifth season racing, I know I am lucky, and I am honored to have won this championship.”
In five starts, Allaer won four times, including victories at MIS, Gingerman and Gateway Motorsports Park. He sustained one DNF at Gingerman. In addition, Allaer was the fastest in qualifying once, during the season.
Allaer had some very important folks to thank.
“My wife, Elizabeth is very supportive of my racing,” Allaer said. “She grew up in a racing family and is the only reason I am able to do this. Without her, I would have never even started racing.
“My three boys, Cameron, Nolan and Austin are huge fans of mine. Having them at my races makes it so enjoyable and I love to see them waving to me at the track.
“My father-in-law, Lew Cooper, has been racing his whole life and has taught me so much. He also has been incredibly supportive and always knows what to say to me after a race, win or lose. As well, my brother-in-law, Lew Cooper III, is a National Champion and my mentor. He is my racing inspiration. I am always amazed at his ability, and he has been incredibly patient with me as I learn how to become a driver. I can only hope to be half the driver he is today.
“Finally, Dave Livingston, owner of LTD Motorsports, has worked so incredibly hard on giving me the best car possible. He cares so much and is always looking to help me find time on the track. His tireless efforts this year are shown in the wins we have this year as well.”