Hot News
for your iPhone
for your iPad
Go to our forums to discuss this news
DATE News (chronologically)
Black Swan Racing dives into LMP2 class
After two exceptional seasons in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n`s GT Challenge category, Black Swan Racing owner Tim Pappas is eyeing LMP2 for 2012. Pappas and teammate Jeroen Bleekemolen recently tested an Oak-Pescarolo from Oak Racing at Sebring International Raceway as the two-time defending GTC Champion begins the process of selecting a chassis and engine combination to contest the 2012 season.

"This is the first time I`ve driven anything out of a GT car, showroom stock or similar production-based car," Pappas said following the test. "It was incredible. I`ve never had anything that had that level of downforce and technical aspects. It`s still just unbelievable.

"I think most people, who would look at a prototype car from a fan`s perspective, would be incredibly surprised at how easy these cars are to drive."

Aiming to make his choice between Oak-Pescarolo or Lola before the year is out, Pappas along with co-driver Bleekemolen, tested Oak Racing`s LMP1-class Oak-Pescarolo Judd on Dunlop tires at Sebring.

"The Oak Racing P2 car is still under development," Pappas said. "We drove the P1 car, but I`d imagine there are a lot of similarities in the chassis construction and other elements. There is a lot of technology in those cars for the price."

Technology and price are big motivators in Pappas` move to LMP2. Though he has enjoyed the level of competition in GTC the past two seasons, Pappas - a successful real estate and property development CEO - always viewed Black Swan Racing`s GTC effort as a stepping stone to a bigger program. While GT may seem like the natural next step and offers world-class competition, Pappas recognized LMP2 as a better fit for Black Swan Racing.

"The backbone of sports car racing has been the enthusiast like myself who has a career outside motorsports but has a passion and desire to pursue their racing goals - contending for race wins and championships," he said. "The level of competition in GT right now is unbelievable and probably the best in the world, but it`s not the place for a guy like me. We want to go head-to-head with other top independent teams with perhaps a manufacturer relationship and technical support. These cars have a cost structure that is fixed thanks to the rules. You don`t have to take them and spend thousands of dollars to develop them and become competitive. You could, but that`s not what this class is about."

According to Pappas, all signs indicate that LMP2 is on a path for growth - a path that Black Swan Racing has chosen to follow upon reaching a critical crossroads.
"I firmly believe that things happen for a reason," he said. "This class has come together nicely with a stable rules platform, cost caps and support from multiple manufacturers. LMP2 in the ALMS was an unbelievable class only a few years ago. Hopefully a stable platform and a Pro-Am combination can help guys like me - who don`t race full-time but have a passion for racing - contend for championships.

"There are a couple of factions within BSR that viewed this different. Some guys have elected to leave for more opportunities in GTC, and that`s fine. The core of our team is excited to get a look at prototype cars and ready for something outside our comfort zone. Prototype cars are a dream for me and now it`s a dream that`s coming true with this cost-capped structure and Pro-Am settings."

Expect more updates at the start of the New Year as Pappas` dream for Black Swan Racing morphs into a reality.  The annual Sebring Winter Test for the 2012 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n will take place Feb. 8-9 at Sebring International Raceway.
Hot News Archives
2000 2001 2002 2003

Search Hot News
Search Help