Kumho, Intersport team up for 2007
Eager to compete again for class wins and championships in the American Le Mans Series, Intersport Racing and Kumho Tire USA will team together in the Series' highly competitive LMP2 class for the 2007 season. The Kumho-shod, AER-powered Intersport Lola B05/40 will turn its first competitive laps at the 55th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 17.
Kumho and Intersport will join other Series teams and manufacturers at the third annual American Le Mans Series Winter Test from January 22-24 at Sebring International Raceway. Kumho also will supply tires to P2 teams B-K Motorsports and van der Steur Racing.
"We are eager to begin working with Intersport," said Rudy Consolacion, Kumho's motorsports manager. "Intersport is an independent team that has proven it can go head-to-head with the big factory teams. The addition of Intersport to the Kumho mix gives us a good shot at winning races and competing for the class championship in 2007."
Intersport won the LMP2 class championship in 2003 and 2005. The team also won the LMP2 class at the 2004 24 Hours of Le Mans. Competing against the Penske Porsches and the rest of the LMP2 field in 2006, Intersport scored three class wins, including a P2 victory and second overall at Sebring. For 2007, both Penske Motorsports and Dyson Racing will campaign Porsche RS Spyders. There also will be three Acura-powered entries in a class full of depth and world-class quality.
"We're excited to start a long-term relationship with Kumho," said Intersport team principal Clint Field. "With Kumho's and Intersport's commitment to winning, next year should be very successful. We expect to be very competitive again with our AER engine, Lola chassis, and Richard Berry and Very Berry Exotics on board as a sponsor.
"Kumho's development has come a long way in the past couple of years," noted Field. "The performance of the van der Steur Radical at Laguna Seca got our attention because it's obvious the tires were very competitive. We tested the Kumhos after the season and they stacked up very well against the other tires we tested.
"The tire is already competitive, and we're looking forward to helping Kumho further develop the tire and make it even more competitive than it already is," he added.
Brian Alder, team manager and crew chief for Intersport, is equally excited about working with Kumho. "We're looking forward to having a tire that will be able to compete with the Michelins," he said. "We've been keeping an eye on Kumho and watching them grow in the Series the last two years. We feel working together we can help Kumho develop a tire that will be better than the competition. We're always looking for the best equipment and technology, and Kumho fits that bill."
Co-driving with Field will be his father, Jon Field. The two will drive together for the full season for the first time in their careers. "Clint and Jon give us one of the top driver lineups in the Series," said Alder. "People may have underestimated us a few years ago, but we've earned the respect of everyone and proved that we're for real. We're one of the best teams in the Series and are coming back in 2007 stronger than we were last year."
"LMP2 is shaping up to be the most competitive class in the American Le Mans Series in 2007, with 10 or more cars expected in the class in several races," said Consolacion. "Clint, Jon and Brian bring a lot of experience to the table. They will push their car and our tires to the limit. We can't wait for the season to start."