Creation Team Impressed With American Le Mans Experience, Plans 2005 Return BRASELTON, Georgia - With a few weeks passed since the end of the 2004 American Le Mans Series season, and now back in England, Creation Autosportif owner Mike...
Creation Team Impressed With American Le Mans Experience, Plans 2005 Return
BRASELTON, Georgia - With a few weeks passed since the end of the 2004 American Le Mans Series season, and now back in England, Creation Autosportif owner Mike Jankowski has had time to reflect on his sports car racing team's two-race venture to America.
The team ran the last two events of the ALMS season, including Chevy presents Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta and the Audi Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Competing in the LMP1 class with its unique DBA-Zytek Prototype, Creation was extremely competitive in both events, winning the overall pole at Laguna Seca and leading the race three times.
Although mechanical problems prevented the team from finishing either race, Jankowski and the team left for home with good feelings about their experiences in the American Le Mans Series and plan to return for more racing in 2005.
"The whole ALMS setup was very impressive," said Jankowski, a native of California who operates businesses and lives in London. "We went out and met as many fans as possible, and their (ALMS) approach to the fans is very good. We loved the whole ambience of the ALMS, and we expect to be involved there next year at least as often as we were this year."
The team certainly left an impression on ALMS fans and participants and from the first practice session at Road Atlanta it was apparent why the team's car is known as the "Blue Rocket." Drivers Nicolas Minassian of France and Jamie Campbell-Walter of England were always at or near the top of speed charts, peaking when Minassian won the pole at Laguna Seca.
Creation, a team that was formed in late 2002 by Jankowski and Ian Bickerton of England, owns the only DBA4-03S chassis ever built and raced the very fast car this season in the Le Mans Endurance Series in Europe. The DBA chassis was designed and built by Reynard, one of the last projects of the British race car building company before it closed. In a span of only a few weeks, the rights to the design passed into the hands of IRM, headed by Paul Shakespeare, before noted Danish racer John Nielsen bought the car and re-named it a DBA because of his sponsorship from a newspaper in Denmark.
Nielsen brought the car to the American Le Mans Series for two races, failing to finish the 2002 Petit Le Mans or the 2003 Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. However, the car was fast on both circuits and Nielsen qualified fifth overall at Sebring. Creation acquired the car late in 2003 to race it in 2004. Although Creation owns the only DBA, two more chassis of the same design have now been built and have raced this year as Zyteks.
The team has a throwback "race hard, play hard" outlook, and Jankowski is cautiously optimistic as he looks ahead to the 2005 racing season.
"It's possible that we could run two cars next year," he said. "It's theoretically possible that we'll run an ALMS program and an LMES program, but that's unlikely. But we're talking to American sponsors, and we certainly could do the whole ALMS."
"It's more likely, at the moment, that we'd do the LMES, plus Sebring and the two end of season ALMS events, but also be more adventurous in the middle of the season, with some ALMS races between the LMES ones," he said. "There are certainly some very interesting circuits in America, and after Road Atlanta and Laguna Seca, we're full of the positives of the ALMS."