LMP2 TEAMS WELCOME ACURA CHALLENGE Braselton, Ga. - Intersport Racing hardly flinched last year when Porsche announced its entry into the American Le Mans Series' LMP2 class with a factory program. So it should come as no surprise that the ...
LMP2 TEAMS WELCOME ACURA CHALLENGE
Braselton, Ga. - Intersport Racing hardly flinched last year when Porsche announced its entry into the American Le Mans Series' LMP2 class with a factory program.
So it should come as no surprise that the defending class champions won't cower before Acura either.
Acura announced last week that it will contest the American Le Mans Series starting in 2007. Multiple Acura-powered LMP2s from manufacturers such as Lola and Courage will debut at the 55th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. That, of course, is the same race in which Intersport Racing won the P2 class and finished second overall last month, the highest finish ever for any P2 car in America's greatest sports car race.
"Acura will be a great addition to the Series," said defending class champion and team owner Clint Field. "When a factory team comes on board, it provides a level of stability. For a small team like us, we have to use everything as best as possible, and we do quite well with what we have."
There is a rich history of privateer teams competing and beating factory efforts in the American Le Mans Series. Intersport is the latest to add to that chapter. Given the strong performances, continued development and new equipment among P2 class entries, 2007 certainly won't be a walk in the park for Acura - or anyone else for that matter.
"This is very positive news," said Gunnar van der Steur, one of the owners of van der Steur Racing. To combat Porsche, Acura and others, the team is upgrading its program in a big way with a new Radical SR9-AER set to debut later this year.
"More competition is exactly what we're looking for," he added. "I'm sure Acura will bring more advanced technology that we'll have to chase, but we hope the Radical can be right on pace with them. I'm sure the Porsche boys are thinking about it too."
As is B-K Motorsports with their Mazda-powered Courage C65. A winner at Mid-Ohio last year, B-K Motorsports and Mazda already are gearing up for a renewed rivalry of sorts.
"Mazda and Acura shared many great battles during the IMSA Camel Lights days and we are looking forward to picking up where we left off," said Robert Davis, Senior Vice President of Product, Quality and Research of Mazda North America.