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Black Swan Racing announces ALMS effort
Tim Pappas
Tim Pappas’ Black Swan Racing announced officially today that it is returning to the American Le Mans Series in 2010 with a full-season effort. The Harvard, Mass.-based squad will enter a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in the GT class, perhaps the most competitive one in Series history.

Pappas-owned entries are no stranger to the American Le Mans Series. The first, coincidentally, was a Porsche in GT2 that competed under the banner of Team Trans Sport in 2007. The car’s best finish was fourth in class at Petit Le Mans with Pappas, Terry Borcheller and Marc Basseng driving. Black Swan hit the track in 2008 with a Falken-shod Doran-Ford GT that competed in the second half of the season.

“The 2010 American Le Mans Series GT class will showcase the best endurance racing in the world, and I am proud that Black Swan will be a part of it,” Pappas said. “The American Le Mans Series continues to do a fantastic job advancing its Green Racing initiatives, which is exactly in line with my business and the business of our partners. I am also very excited to be back with Porsche, the brand that I began my Series career with and most of my club racing.”

On the driver front, Black Swan has signed Porsche ace Jeroen Bleekemolen as Pappas’ full-time co-driver. Though he has made only one career start in the Series – eighth place in GT2 at Sebring in 2006 with Spyker – Bleekemolen has an impressive résumé. The Dutchman won the 2008 24 Hours of Le Mans in LMP2 – with a Porsche RS Spyder - and was crowned Porsche Supercup Champion in 2008 and 2009.  Bleekemolen comes from a family of racers, his father Michael a past Formula 1 driver, raised Jeroen and his brother Sebastian on a strict diet of karting. The team will announce its third driver for Sebring, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Petit Le Mans in the near future.

Tim Pappas: "The 2010 American Le Mans Series GT class will showcase the best endurance racing in the world, and I am proud that Black Swan will be a part of it." Click here for Hi-Res

Black Swan has teamed with Dunlop Motorsport for tires and plans to help develop a Dunlop tire for the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR that is suited to the rigors of U.S. racing circuits, which can be more trying than European venues. More on the team’s Dunlop partnership and Black Swan’s corporate partners will be released at the 58th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida, the first round of the American Le Mans Series.

Green and environmental issues are at the core of Pappas’ business practices, and that philosophy will fit in well with the Series’ platform of advancing energy efficient technologies and developments in production automobiles through motorsports. His firm is committed to be at the forefront of the green building movement with multiple construction developments in the Boston area. Most notable is the Macallen Building Condominiums, a 140-unit complex in south Boston developed by Pappas, which received the American Institute of Architects Committee on The Environment Award (“COTE” Top Ten Award) and a Gold Certification from the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system (LEED).

“We are pleased to say ‘Welcome Back’ to Tim Pappas and Black Swan Racing,” said Scott Atherton, President and CEO of the American Le Mans Series. “From our conversations with Tim it is clear that he has put together the equipment and personnel to tackle what is without question the most competitive and diverse class we have ever seen in the American Le Mans Series. Plus, Tim’s background and award-winning involvement with environmental initiatives make him and his team an ideal match for the Series. As we go forward as the Global Leader of Green Racing, Tim’s work both on and off the track will make him - as well as the entire Black Swan Racing team - key players in the American Le Mans Series paddock.”

Black Swan will test its new Porsche for the first time in early February at Palm Beach International Raceway and will take part in the annual Winter Test at Sebring later in the month.

The American Le Mans Series will open its 12th season with America’s greatest sports car race, the 58th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida from March 17-20. The green flag will fall at 10:35 a.m. on Saturday, March 20 with live coverage on SPEED. For ticket and accommodation information, see sebringraceway.com.

The annual American Le Mans Series Winter Test is scheduled for February 22-23, also at Sebring International Raceway.

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