Experience and strength could pay off at Sebring

SEBRING, Fla. (March 9, 2000) -- Michael Colucci Racing (MCR) has raised the bar in the GT class at this year's 48th Annual Superflo 12 Hours at Sebring endurance classic. The veteran brings nearly three decades of race car preparation, along...

SEBRING, Fla. (March 9, 2000) -- Michael Colucci Racing (MCR) has raised the bar in the GT class at this year's 48th Annual Superflo 12 Hours at Sebring endurance classic. The veteran brings nearly three decades of race car preparation, along with an entry of four cars, all Porsches, to the starting line-up of this year's race, first event on the 2000 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) schedule. Colucci's ace in the hole is last year's ALMS GT class driver's champion, Cort Wagner, who, along with teammates Shane Lewis and car owner Bob Mazzuoccola, will pilot the #21 Aspen Knolls Porsche 911 GT3 R. Wagner is also the defending GT class victor at Sebring, finishing eleventh overall in 1999. Colucci's dark horse is a stable of three additional Porsche 911 GT3 R entries from Kurt Baumann's Nygmatech Motorsports team. The Nygmatech lineup includes the No. 87 FamilyClick.com Porsche 911 GT3 R of Tim Robertson and Ian James; the No. 88 GlobalCenter Porsche 911 GT3 R of Leo Hindery, Peter Baron, and John Lewis; and the No. 89 Roku Porsche 911 GT3 R of Kurt Baumann, David Dullum, and Jim McCormick. A nearly sure bet on Colucci's part is fielding Porsches. Not only have Porsches competed at Sebring every single year since 1953, 46 consecutive, but the marque has won 17 times. Through his 27-year history with Porsche, Michael Colucci-led teams have earned 68 victories to date in Porsches ranging from the RSR to the 935 to the 962. Sebring victories currently stand at three (1985, 1994, 1996) with plans to up that total this year. Additionally, all four cars are shod with Pirelli P Zero racing tires. Pirelli's record at Sebring speaks for itself with a history that dates back to 1955 when five-time world champion Juan Manuel Fangio won the once-around-the-clock endurance classic on Pirelli rubber. Pirelli has recent overall victories at Sebring, in 1995, with Fermin Velez in the Scandia Ferrari 333 SP, and in 1996, with Wayne Taylor in the Oldsmobile Riley & Scott. Pirelli also claims three straight GTS-2 class wins with Porsche from 1995-1997. "I couldn't be happier with the line-up we have for the Sebring 12 hour race this year," said Colucci, 54, of Jupiter, Fla. "Two of my past Sebring victories were in Porsches and there's a reason for that. The Porsche engine is about the most dependable motor out there. Sebring can be a tough track that can be brutally hard on a car. With the Porsche reliability, good preparation on our part, and the superior Pirelli race tire, we think we have a winning combination." Colucci's first Sebring victory came in 1985 with the Porsche 962 of A.J. Foyt and Bob Wollek. With little practice time, drivers new to the circuit, and lacking first gear, the team was able to persevere for the entire race and come up with the overall victory. Colucci won again in 1994 earning WCS class honors (second overall) with a Chevrolet Spice driven by Andy Wallace, James Weaver, and Derek Bell. He repeated the feat two years later with the Champion Porsche of Hans Stuck and Bill Adam. Once again, adversity was overcome after some late-race problems, including having to replace the front suspension, to take the GT-1 class victory in 1996. Knowledge and experience, combined with strength in numbers, could earn Michael Colucci his fourth trip to one of the most famed podiums in motorsports. The 48th Annual Exxon Superflo 12 Hours at Sebring will be broadcast live in its entirety on Speedvision, with the race scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, March 18. Live coverage will also be provided by Radio Le Mans on the ALMS web site.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Andy Wallace , Shane Lewis , James Weaver , Wayne Taylor , Jim McCormick , Ian James , Peter Baron , Juan Manuel Fangio , Fermin Velez , Bob Wollek , John Lewis , Bob Mazzuoccola , Cort Wagner , Bill Adam