Road America: Macaluso pleased with team's new chassis

John Macaluso Has a Lot To Be Thankful For as Miracle Motorsports Debuts New Courage Chassis in ALMS. ELKHART LAKE, WI - With the newest addition to Miracle Motorsports safely in the paddock after Friday's American Le Mans Series test session ...

John Macaluso Has a Lot To Be Thankful For as Miracle Motorsports Debuts New Courage Chassis in ALMS.

ELKHART LAKE, WI - With the newest addition to Miracle Motorsports safely in the paddock after Friday's American Le Mans Series test session at Road America, team owner and driver John Macaluso commented on his new Courage C65 Prototype, what the team had to go through to get it and the unwelcome guest that paid a visit to their shop in Florida.

"I want to thank and give a lot of credit to Courage and their people. They took the car directly from the win at Silverstone back to their factory in Le Mans and went through all of the normal maintenance that you do between races," Macaluso said. "They did that over Sunday and Monday working very long, hard hours, then crated the car up after changing the motor and boxed up all of the spares and then drove it back to Paris to ship it on Tuesday. It actually arrived in the United States late Tuesday night and by the time it cleared customs it was Wednesday. We had to get some help from Mike Gue from Essex, who is our team manager as well, with the bonding because he imports a lot of cars.

"It was really all on Courage's part that got all of the actual legwork and the hard work done," Macaluso said. "We collected and brought it here and got it American Le Mans Series ready with the lights and the driver I.D. stuff. Now we are just out there struggling around because the tires that the car was developed around are not the ones that we use so we are having to change the set-up a little bit, but by the end of the weekend, I think it is going to be a great car. I drove it today for only one lap but it was enough to tell that it is an unbelievable car.

"The potential of the car is certainly there and it has been in its races in Europe," he said. "It won in Silverstone by seven laps over a pretty fair field. It certainly has the potential but we make no bones that getting the car and just getting it over here that we may have some teething problems this weekend. We knew for a fact that coming here with just our little Lola we were going to be way down on the time grid and we wanted to be competitive. No matter what, the other cars that are on the grid are going to have to look over their shoulders because if we get the set-up and everything worked out by race day, this car will be a contender. When we go to Petit (Le Mans) our only question is longevity and if the engine lasts, it should win easily. We are trying to secure our position to go to Le Mans next year and we know that it is a good car there so we are pretty optimistic."

Although the team has had some good fortune lately, Hurricane Charley, the second hurricane of the season, paid a visit to Florida last week, leaving many in the state homeless and still without power. Unfortunately the Miracle Motorsports shop in Winter Haven, Fla., was not out of Charley's path.

"Sadly, the guys left to go on this road trip that we started in June and they haven't really been back there since," said Macaluso. "So, we took that time and basically remodeled the shop and put new ceilings, and new floors in and added air-conditioning as well because we knew that we were going to grow a little bit this year. However, Charley came in there and blew in the windows and the doors and basically undid everything that we had just finished. Thankfully the construction company that did that went right back over there and it should be done by the time the guys get back this Monday or Tuesday."

With a new shop, after the repairs, and a new Courage as part of its arsenal, Miracle Motorsports is on a roll and is definitely a team to watch for the rest of this season.

"It's a miracle brother, it's a miracle!" said Macaluso.

-alms-

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Series ALMS
Drivers John Macaluso
Teams HART