Michael Waltrip Racing press release
MWR Co-Owner Rob Kauffman To Race At Petit Le Mans
Will Partner with Rui Aguas & Justin Bell in Ferrari Italia 430
eBay Mobile and The World's Fastest Car Show To Adorn Ferrari at Road Atlanta
CORNELIUS, N.C. - Michael Waltrip Racing co-owner Rob Kauffman will race the No. 61 AF Corse Ferrari 430 Italia in the 14th-annual Petit Le Mans sports car race at Road Atlanta on Saturday Oct. 1. Co-drivers Rui Aguas and Justin Bell will join Kauffman for the 1,000-mile/10-hour endurance classic that serves as a finale to the American Le Mans season.
"Petit Le Mans is one of the top endurance races in the world," said Kauffman. "It's both thrilling and an honor to race in such a prestigious event. Road Atlanta is as challenging as any track and this race attracts the best sports car teams in the world. Our plan is to expand our sports car racing in the United States. Running in this race is a big step toward that goal."
eBay Mobile logos, along with a custom QR code scanable by any fan with a smart phone, will adorn the Ferrari throughout the week. Also on the car will be logos for the new web show - The World's Fastest Car Show on eBay Motors. ( www.ebaymotors.com/wfcs) FIA GT World Champion and Le Mans winner Justin Bell will serve as host of the new show on the popular website and mobile app. New episodes are uploaded weekly as Bell takes viewers on automotive adventures and celebrity road trips. Future episodes will incorporate Bell's efforts in the Petit Le Mans race.
"There are so many good things going on here. I get to race a beautiful AF Corse Ferrari at Petit Le Mans with Rob Kauffman whom I have come to greatly admire and we are bringing eBay Mobile along for the ride," said Bell, 43, an on-air talent for Speed Channel. "I know we are going to have a lot of fun, but we're also going there with plans to finish on the podium."
A field of about 40 cars will take the green flag Saturday Oct. 1 at 11:30 a.m. In addition to the overall race at Road Atlanta, teams of two or three drivers per car compete for class victories in different categories, divided into Le Mans prototypes and grand tourers. Class winners of this event receive an automatic invitation to next year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. Kauffman and co-drivers will compete in the GTE AM Class.
Road Atlanta owner Don Panoz founded Petit Le Mans in October 10, 1998. The 1999 edition on the 2.5-mile, 12-turn course was one of the original events of the American Le Mans Series. The race drew more than 125,000 fans in 2010 with an estimated 650 million fans watching on television throughout the world.
Kauffman joined Aguas and MWR co-owner and founder Michael Waltrip at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. Transmission failure ended their race after 16 hours in the 79th annual running of the French classic.
Kauffman, a native New Yorker who lives in London working as the European manager of Fortress Investments, partnered with Waltrip in October 2007. From its 140,000-square-foot shop in Cornelius, N.C., MWR fields Toyota Camrys in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Waltrip, David Reutimann and Martin Truex Jr. as well as a K&N Pro Series East entry for Brett Moffitt.
MWR's participation in international racing events is part of a worldwide business strategy and a way to promote the team on a global stage. In the last year, MWR's international effort has included visits to Le Mans, the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England, Toyota Motorsports Festival in Japan as well as races and tests in Dubai, Belgium and Portugal.