Cadillac, Ascari Enter Prototypes in 50th Sebring 12 Hours
SEBRING, Fla. (February 21, 2002) -- Entries from factory Cadillac and Ascari racing teams have bolstered the Prototype class for the 50th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, presented by Dodge, which will be run at Sebring International Raceway on March 16.
The sleek and exotic Prototypes are the fastest cars in the American Le Mans Series, which will kick off its 2002 season at Sebring.
Team Cadillac has entered a pair of Cadillac Northstar LMP02 machines in the Golden Anniversary edition of America's oldest sports car race. In its third year of involvement in sports car racing, Cadillac has an all-new car that will make its racing debut at Sebring.
Eric Bernard of France, JJ Lehto of Finland and Emmanuel Collard of England will share the driving duties of the #7 Cadillac, while the #8 will be driven by Wayne Taylor of Altamonte Springs, Fla., Max Angelelli of Italy and Christophe Tinseau of France. Taylor (1996) and Lehto (1999) are former overall winners of the Sebring classic.
Team Ascari, affiliated with the British road car company, has also entered two cars in the Prototype class. The Ascari KZR1 machines will be powered by Judd engines as the company makes its American Le Mans Series racing debut at Sebring.
T.J. Bell of Sparks, Nev., will co-drive the #19 Ascari with Werner Lupberger of England, while Ben Collins and Christian Vann, both of England, will be the drivers for the #21 Ascari.
Upwards of 50 cars are expected to compete in the event at the 3.7-mile Sebring International Raceway, including cars in the Prototype 900 and 675, GTS and GT classes. Rinaldo Capello, Laurent Aiello and the late Michele Alboreto won last year's event in an Audi R8 Prototype. Audi has been the overall winner the past two years.
Sebring International Raceway, built on the site of a former World War II bomber training base, will hold a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 12-hour event. Many of the former winning drivers and cars from past editions of the event will be on hand to take part in the festivities, with the cars on display for most of the week of the event.
Ticket information is available online at www.sebringraceway.com or by calling the raceway ticket office at 1-863-655-1442 (toll-free in Florida 1-800-626-RACE). The race will be televised live from flag to flag on the SPEED Channel and the broadcast by the American Le Mans Series Radio Web can be heard online at www.imsaracing.net.