Le Mans champion Tom Kimber-Smith joins CORE autosport for Laguna
ROCK HILL, SC, Wednesday, May 2, 2012: Multiple Le Mans class winner Tom Kimber-Smith will join CORE autosport for the third round of the 2012 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) season - the six-hour American Le Mans Series Monterey Presented by Patrón at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Kimber-Smith will co-drive the Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC) class #06 Soloson Import ORECA FLM09 with lead pilot Alex Popow. After two class wins in two rounds – Sebring and Long Beach – Popow and CORE autosport are currently leading the 2012 ALMS LMPC statistics for driver and team, titles won by the organization in 2011.
The 27-year old British driver’s career began in 1990 behind the wheel of a kart. He graduated to cars in 1999 and won a “T-Car” saloon-car championship in 2000. Since then, Kimber-Smith’s racing resume has been filled with accolades, including championships in British Formula Ford (2003) and Le Mans Series LMP2 class (2011) and two class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in the LMP2 class (2011) and GT2 class (2006).
Kimber-Smith has driven in both ALMS and GRAND-AM in the U.S., but has never taken on the 11-turn, 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway before. He did spend time with CORE autosport at Long Beach and for a few days thereafter. Popow, CORE autosport team manager Morgan Brady and team owner / founder / driver Jon Bennett are glad to welcome Kimber-Smith on board due to the Briton’s abilities, experience and demeanour.
“I’m very excited about teaming up with CORE autosport and Alex Popow for the third round of the ALMS championship at Mazda Raceway.
“CORE autosport is an incredible team that won the LMPC championship in 2011 and are leading the championship again in 2012 so I could not be with a better team. And Alex will be a great teammate. He is super-quick and already has two wins under his belt this season.
“Although I’ve done a lot of racing, this race will be my first time at Mazda Raceway. I’ve been trying to prepared the best I can, working on a simulator and viewing as many videos as I can get ahold of. I will be ready come first practice and of course for the race!”
"Tom is a very good and fast driver. I did not know him that well before we met up at Long Beach, but I really like the methodical way he prepares himself and works with the team and cars he drives. He is a great choice as my co-driver for Mazda Raceway.
“The #06 is leading the championship right now – winning both races in 2012 - and it’s very important to keep good drivers in the car. It’s also important as I develop as a driver to have co-drivers that are faster than me so I can keep improving.
“I’m familiar with the track and I think that the #06 car will be very good and we can continue our winning streak.”