Robertson Racing confirmed for Le Mans 24 Hours debut
The iconic Ford GT will return to La Sarthe this June after Robertson Racing were selected to make their maiden appearance at the world's most famous endurance race, the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Last Wednesday, race organisers the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) revealed the 56 cars scheduled to start the twice-round-the-clock enduro in France on June 11-12.
Robertson Racing were rewarded for their promising season in last year's American Le Mans Series with an entry (#68) in the fiercely competitive LM GTE-Am class, while the team's second Elan-powered, Michelin-shod Ford GT (#69) remains primed for action as the GT category's first reserve in the event of withdrawals elsewhere.
ALMS regular David Robertson, who has been confirmed for the #68 car, revealed it was a dream come true to be contesting his first Le Mans 24 Hours.
"Obviously I'm absolutely delighted to be contesting Le Mans for the first time. I remember wondering when racing as an amateur what a reasonable goal might be. Le Mans is certainly way beyond it! I'll never forget as a 12-year-old boy watching Wide World of Sports' coverage of Fords winning there, so to be taking our own GT is just a dream come true. In fact, we'd really love for Ford to get behind the project. Those victories of the 1960s weren't just the greatest achievements in their history, but in American motorsport full stop."
2011 might be Robertson Racing's first trip to Le Mans but a number of their key personnel already have experience of competing there. Chief Engineer Lee Penn masterminded Team LNT's shock GT2 victory in 2006 and Team Manager Andrew 'H' Smith has helped run cars on four occasions. Most notable of all however is three-time Le Mans-winning driver Dick Barbour, who assists with Robertson Racing's ALMS programme.
Andrew 'H' Smith: "We were ecstatic when the ACO announced its line up on Wednesday. The whole team was at Sebring for the winter group test and you could feel the pride flowing through everyone. To get one car on the grid is a fantastic achievement for an independent team so to have the second entry tantalisingly close too was an added bonus. Without wishing ill on any of our GT rivals, we would be absolutely ready to run two cars there."
Robertson Racing will send at least one Ford GT to the official Le Mans test day on April 24. A decision on the second car's appearance will be made closer to the time.
Sebring Winter Test: February 9-10
Both cars were in action at Sebring last week where the traditional group test took place ahead of the American Le Mans Series season opener there next month.
The two days were a good opportunity to try out a number of updates and developments introduced over the winter, chief among which has been the switch to Michelin tyres. David Murry and Anthony Lazzaro were back behind the wheel of the #04 car with David Robertson and Andrea Robertson joined in #40 by new Sebring and Petit Le Mans signing Boris Said.
Former Le Mans Series champion Rob Bell will again co-drive alongside Murry and Lazzaro at Sebring on March 19.
-source: robertson racing