Sears Point: Rick Sutherland preview

Intersport Racing's Rick Sutherland ready to race at his home track of Sears Point. LOS GATOS, Calif.- Intersport Racing driver Rick Sutherland does not have far to go for this weekend's American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sears...

Intersport Racing's Rick Sutherland ready to race at his home track of Sears Point.

LOS GATOS, Calif.- Intersport Racing driver Rick Sutherland does not have far to go for this weekend's American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sears Point Raceway. The Los Gatos, Calif., resident is looking forward to driving his home track during the second round of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).

Sutherland drives the #37 Intersport Racing/Banana Joe's Lola EX257/AER MG along with co-driver Jon Field, in the LMP 675 class. This is Sutherland's 4th year with Intersport. Earlier this season, Sutherland co-drove the Intersport Racing Lola/Judd that led the 24 Hours of Daytona for 9 hours before a gearbox failure.

"It's great to be at my home track," enthused Sutherland. "I've got more laps at Sears Point than most tracks, and I won a championship there in' 87. I've had a lot of really good races there. I'll get to see lots of people I've known and raced with over the years."

Sutherland's co-driver Field is currently first in class for the drivers championship after winning the LMP 675 class at the 12 Hours of Sebring. The team is also leading the class in IMSA Cup points, which is an award for the highest-finishing privateer team in each of the four classes.

Sutherland hopes his extensive knowledge of Sears Point will help Field extend his lead in the drivers championship. "It's a tough course. The Esses in turn ten are very difficult. Turn 2 is a blind corner," said Sutherland of the 2.53-mile track.

One of the top privateer teams, Intersport has been a staple of American Le Mans competition since the series' inception in 1999. The team earned 5th in points in the competitive LMP 900 class last season. The red, white and blue Banana Joe's car is popular among the fans, as well.

Sutherland is the CEO of Click Away and the President of Sutherland Racing. He has been racing for over twenty years and has competed in both open-wheel series and sports cars. Sutherland's first championship came in 1987, when he won the Pacific Coast Formula Atlantic Championship. He moved to sports car prototype competition in 1994, when he began racing in IMSA's World Sports Car series.

The Grand Prix of Sonoma Presented by Foster's gets the green flag on Sunday, May 19 at 1:00 PDT at Sears Point Raceway. The race will be two hours and 45 minutes in length and will be broadcast live on the SPEED Channel.

More information about Sutherland's racing career can be found on his website at www.SutherlandRacing.com. Intersport Racing's home on the Internet is www.IntersportRacing.com.

-ir-

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