Dynamic Sebring season opener for ALMS With the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n concluding its annual Winter Test at Sebring International Raceway, the focus now shifts to the 58th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida. The opening round of the 2010 season will see 35 of the world’s best sports car drivers, teams and manufacturers grace the grid for America’s greatest and most demanding endurance race.
Fifteen prototypes and 20 GT-class cars are on the initial entry list. Four closed-top coupes are among the entries in LMP1 – two diesel-powered factory Peugeot 908 HDi FAPs, Aston Martin Racing’s V12-powered Lola-Aston Martin and Drayson Racing’s Lola with Judd power. All four entries will also use Sebring as preparation for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Lola contingent in LMP1 at Sebring will include Autocon Motorsports, Intersport Racing and Drayson Racing.
At Sebring, they will run alongside open-top prototypes from Creation Autosportif – with its Creation CA10-Judd – and AER-powered Lola B06/10s from Intersport Racing and Autocon Motorsports with the latter also bound for Le Mans.
The overall race-winner may not necessarily come from the P1 class. A solid collection of LMP2 cars are entered including Patr¢n Highcroft Racing, last year’s LMP1 season champion. The team will be running the Honda Performance Development ARX-01c for the first time although the car is an updated version of the P2-spec ARX-01b that Patr¢n Highcroft drove to four victories – including one overall – in 2008.
Patr¢n Highcroft Racing, last year's LMP1 champion will return to LMP2 at Sebring with the HPD ARX-01c.
Dyson Racing will enter its Dunlop-shod Lola B09/86-Mazda - another coupe – as the team starts its second season in partnership with Mazda and BP. Muscle Milk Team CytoSport will race at Sebring for the first time with its Porsche RS Spyder, a car that claimed an overall victory in the 12 Hours in 2008.
The GT2 class has it all for fans with quantity AND quality. An eye-popping 14 entries from nine teams representing six manufacturers – BMW, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Ford, Jaguar and Porsche - are on the entry list. There are five two-car teams - Corvette Racing with its Corvette C6.Rs, Flying Lizard Motorsports with two Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs, two BMW M3s for BMW Rahal Letterman Racing Team, and a pair of Ferrari F430 GTs for Risi Competzione and first-year entrant Extreme Speed Motorsports.
Five two-car teams will be on the grid at Sebring in GT2.
Team Falken Tire and JaguarRSR each will make their Sebring debuts in GT2.
In addition, Team Falken Tire and Black Swan Racing are part of the Porsche camp with one 911 GT3 RSR each. Robertson Racing’s Doran-Ford GT is entered alongside JaguarRSR’s Jaguar XKRS, which will make its first start in the 12 Hours. Jaguar also serves as the Official Car of Sebring International Raceway.
The Series’ two Challenge classes are storylines in themselves. The Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC) cars will feature the ORECA Group’s FLM09 prototype, a slightly smaller race car than its LMP1 and LMP2 counterparts. The first race for the new class features five strong entries. Primetime Race Group and Intersport Racing each have previous experience in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n, with Intersport also campaigning its Lola LMP1. Genoa Racing, Level 5 Motorsports and Green Earth Team Gunnar will make their first starts in the Series.
The Le Mans Prototype Challenge and Grand Touring Challenge classes will compete at Sebring for the first time.
The Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car will make its first appearance in the Sebring 12 Hours as the basis for the GT Challenge class. Alex Job Racing will make its long-awaited return to Series competition with a two-car effort, as will The Racers Group with a single-car entry. Velox Motorsports, GMG Racing and Werks II/P7 Racing were competitors in last year’s Challenge class.
The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n 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 10:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, March 20 with live coverage on SPEED. Visit the American Le Mans Series' schedule page for ticket and accommodation information.
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