Kumho's prototype teams to tire test at Mid-Ohio

MID-OHIO TIRE TESTING ON TAP FOR KUMHO PROTOTYPE TEAMS Intersport Racing and B-K Motorsports aren't taking much of a break with a one-day tire test scheduled early next month at Mid-Ohio with tire partner Kumho. The two prototype...

MID-OHIO TIRE TESTING ON TAP FOR KUMHO PROTOTYPE TEAMS

Intersport Racing and B-K Motorsports aren't taking much of a break with a one-day tire test scheduled early next month at Mid-Ohio with tire partner Kumho. The two prototype teams from the American Le Mans Series will test a number of different compounds on May 3 as they and Kumho continue to develop tires for Intesport's Creation-Judd combination and the Lola-Mazda package from B-K.

"It's a steep learning curve," said Intersport team owner and driver Clint Field. "Kumho did a great job with the new sidewall compound at Houston. They've done stuff pretty quickly in such a short amount of time. They'll bring six or eight new compounds and we'll eventually make a choice of what we'll bring to Salt Lake City."

Intersport and Kumho announced a partnership for 2007 in January. Starting at Sebring, the team ran the manufacturer's P2 tire on the LMP1 chassis but has received two additional constructions which have gotten progressively better with each event, Field said. The team also has further tests planned during the Le Mans break at Road America.

"Kumho has involved us throughout which is good," he said. "They're making good strides. With the softer compound, we'll be more competitive. We're ready to hit this head-on."

Intersport has recorded third-place finishes in LMP1 at each of the first four Series races. The competition will take a step up at Salt Lake City with the return of Team Cytosport's Lola and a new Creation from Autocon Motorsports.

B-K Motorsports and Kumho began their partnership early in the 2006 season. The team fashioned its best run of the season at Houston despite an eighth place finish. The speed of the new package has improved as evidenced by lap times at the first four Series events that continue to get closer to the Porsches and Acuras. The team was running as high as third place overall at Long Beach before electrical problems set the team back.

"Intersport and B-K have both essentially been testing in public with their new cars," said Rudy Consolacion, motorsports manager for Kumho Tire U.S.A. "Both teams will do some extensive testing at Mid-Ohio where they'll work on different setups and try out some new Kumhos with varying compounds and constructions. We're confident this first test outside of a race weekend will give us a chance to help our teams be more competitive at Salt Lake."

The next round of the American Le Mans Series is the Utah Grand Prix, set for 5:05 p.m. CT on Saturday, May 19 from Miller Motorsports Park. CBS Sports will air the race at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 20. MotorsTV in Europe, SPEED Latin America and 7TV in Russia also will provide international coverage. American Le Mans Radio and IMSA's Live Timing and Scoring will be available at americanlemans.com.

-credit: alms

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Series ALMS