HERTA HOPES 2008 CONSISTENCY WILL LEAD TO TITLE

Consistency may be the biggest key to the 2008 American Le Mans Series, at least in Bryan Herta's eyes. He and the rest of the Andretti Green Racing squad will have a double dose of it when the season opens with the 56th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida in March.

For one, the 2008 schedule is a mirror of the 2007 slate. Don't discount how important that can be for a second-year operation like AGR and Acura, which will debut its new version of its ARX chassis at Sebring. One would expect that with the lessons learned from this past season, Acura and its three teams will improve exponentially in '08. How much they gain on Porsche, of course, won't be known for some time.

"From a competitive standpoint it's good for us," said Herta, who finished seventh in this year's LMP2 championship with a historic class win at Sebring. "We know the venues and what the challenges are for each. Consistency and equity are key attributes. It takes a couple of years to build that, and from a Series standpoint it couldn't have worked out much better."

Oh but it has - at least for AGR. After teaming with four different drivers in 2007, Herta will share the wheel of the XM Satellite Radio Acura with Christian Fittipaldi for the full season.

"I think having the consistency of a full-time driver is certainly better for the goal of trying to win a championship," Herta said. "It has to be better to have the same co-driver every week. He's a guy I've raced against a lot in the past. He has a lot of sports car experience, although he hasn't raced in the American Le Mans Series. Christian brings a lot to the team with his experience and I'll be surprised if that doesn't make us stronger."

-credit: alms