Duno first woman to race big prototype

BRASELTON, Ga. (January 18, 2002) -- Milka Duno of Venezuela will become the first woman to compete in the LMP 900 (Prototype) class of the American Le Mans Series when she drives on the series for the new-look Dick Barbour Motorsports team in ...

BRASELTON, Ga. (January 18, 2002) -- Milka Duno of Venezuela will become the first woman to compete in the LMP 900 (Prototype) class of the American Le Mans Series when she drives on the series for the new-look Dick Barbour Motorsports team in 2002.

The Barbour team confirmed that Duno would be a part of its four-driver lineup for 2002 in an announcement made yesterday. Duno drove for Barbour in the 2001 season and was part of the winning team in four ALMS events in the LMP 675 class for smaller, less-powerful Prototypes. A competitor in 1999 and 2000 in the former Women's Global GT Series, Duno made her ALMS debut in the 2000 season, competing in three races for Chamberlain Motorsport in a Dodge Viper in the GTS class.

The Barbour team revealed in December that it would move to the LMP 900 class in 2002 and that it would field a two-car effort. The team will race Panoz LMP 07 machines powered by Mugen engines, marking the first venture into the ALMS for the famed Japanese builder of racing engines.

The move to the LMP 900 class for the Barbour team completes a transition which began in 2000 when Barbour Porsches dominated the GT class in the series, winning driver and team titles. Didier de Radigues won the LMP 675 class championship and the Barbour team earned team honors in the 2001 season after a move up in class.

De Radigues, of Belgium, and John Graham of Canada were previously announced as returning drivers for the team in 2002. The fourth driver has not yet been announced.

In her two seasons of competition on the ALMS, the 29-year-old Duno has become a fan favorite. She possesses five Master's degrees, earning them in naval engineering, business organization, marine business, naval architecture and marine biology. She has helped to design oil recovery ships.

The 2002 American Le Mans Series season begins with the 50th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, presented by Dodge, on March 16 at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway.

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