KUMHO and Miracle Motorsports return for second season together in ALMS RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA. KUMHO Tire and Miracle Motorsports are returning to the American Le Mans Series in the LMP2 class for the 2006 season. The two companies joined forces...
KUMHO and Miracle Motorsports return for second season together in ALMS
RANCHO CUCAMONGA, CA. KUMHO Tire and Miracle Motorsports are returning to the American Le Mans Series in the LMP2 class for the 2006 season. The two companies joined forces for the first time in 2005 and finished second in the LMP2 class championship.
On the way to their runner-up finish, KUMHO and Miracle scored class wins at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Lime Rock and Road America, as well as three second place finishes. Additionally, KUMHO and Miracle made their rookie appearances together at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where the tires and team ran well.
For 2006, Miracle will again campaign the Courage 65 with a 2.0 liter AER turbocharged powerplant. Andy Lally and James Gue will drive the car, with team owner John Macaluso planning to join them behind the wheel at Sebring and Le Mans. After a successful winter test, KUMHO will bring two new compounds to Sebring, along with last year's race-winning tire.
"We tried some different compounds at a Sebring winter test and managed to pick up a bit of speed compared to last year," said Rudy Consolacion, KUMHO's motorsports manager. "We should have a good combination of speed and durability, which is what you need for a fast, bumpy surface like Sebring."
Consolacion said that KUMHO and Miracle thought long and hard during the off season about moving up to P1, but decided to stay in P2 for the 2006 season. "We feel as though we have some unfinished business in P2, especially at Le Mans," said Consolacion. "We're stepping up our testing and development program this year to see how much more we can get out of the tire before we make a decision about moving to P1 next year. Johnny Mac (Macaluso) and the Miracle guys did a great job for us last year. We're looking forward to working with them to extract as much as we can out of the car and the tires this year and seeing if we can challenge the Penske Porsches and the Intersport Lola."
KUMHO and Miracle will be aided by recent IMSA rule changes that increased the size of the air restrictor on the team's AER engine. "IMSA gave us a 2 millimeter larger air restrictor (from 43 mm to 45 mm) to help us try and catch the Porsches," pointed out Macaluso. "That's good news because we can now go to a taller sixth gear, which will help us pick up a few miles per hour on the long straights. The engine should also rev better and have more power exiting the corners."
Miracle is the two-time defending LMP2 class champion at Sebring, and although he knows the Penske Porsches will be formidable opponents, Macaluso thinks the team has a chance to three-peat at this year's race on March 18. "We've been working on making the car reliable. We can't beat the Porsches on outright speed, but it's a 12-hour race and anything can happen."