SEBRING, Fla. (February 18, 2002) -- Entries from a pair of Saleens and three Vipers have expanded the GTS class entry list for the 50th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, presented by Dodge, at Sebring International Raceway on March 16. The 12-hour sports car endurance race will open the 2002 season for the American Le Mans Series.
The team that won the GTS class in last year's Sebring classic, Konrad Motorsport of Germany, has entered a Saleen S7R for drivers Franz Konrad of Germany, Toni Seiler of Sweden and Charles Slater of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Last year's win by Konrad was the first in ALMS competition for Saleen, the American muscle car built in California.
Also entered is Park Place Racing, which will run a Saleen for Chris Bingham of Kirkland, Wash., and Peter MacLeod of Bellevue, Wash., with a third driver to be named.
Joining the two Saleens in the GTS class for production-based cars will be two Dodge Vipers fielded by American Viperacing and a European Chrysler Viper GTS-R entered by Labre Competition of France.
One of the American Viperacing cars will be co-driven by Americans Simon Gregg of Jacksonville, Fla., Marc Bunting of Baltimore and Tom Weickardt of Whitefish Bay, Wis. Rick Fairbanks of Greenville, S.C., and two drivers to be named will be in the other entrant. Gregg is the son of the late Peter Gregg, an accomplished American road racer in his career.
The Labre machine will be co-driven by Jean-Luc Chereau and Christophe Bouchut, both of France, and Belgium's Vincent Vode.
Upwards of 50 cars are expected to compete in the event at the 3.7-mile Sebring International Raceway, including cars in the Prototype 900 and 675, GTS and GT classes. Rinaldo Capello, Laurent Aiello and the late Michele Alboreto won last year's event in an Audi R8 Prototype. Audi has been the overall winner the past two years.
Sebring International Raceway, built on the site of a former World War II bomber training base, will hold a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 12-hour event. Many of the former winning drivers and cars from past editions of the event will be on hand to take part in the festivities, with the cars on display for most of the week of the event.
Ticket information is available online at www.sebringraceway.com or by calling the raceway ticket office at 1-863-655-1442 (toll-free in Florida 1-800-626-RACE). The race will be televised live from flag to flag on the SPEED Channel and the broadcast by the American Le Mans Series Radio Web can be heard online at www.imsaracing.net.