Sebring: MSB Motorsport preview

MSB Motorsport is proud to participate in the 50th running of the 12 Hours of Sebring, the first race in the 2002 American Le Mans Series (ALMS). MSB will field the No. 33 Ferrari 360 Modena GT in the historic endurance race, set for March 16 on...

MSB Motorsport is proud to participate in the 50th running of the 12 Hours of Sebring, the first race in the 2002 American Le Mans Series (ALMS).

MSB will field the No. 33 Ferrari 360 Modena GT in the historic endurance race, set for March 16 on the 3.7-mile Sebring International Raceway road course in Sebring, Fla. Ralf Kelleners of Germany and Marino Franchitti of Scotland will drive the Ferrari-red GT car, directed by team principals John McLoughlin of England and Eva Salleck of Germany.

The MSB Ferrari was the first of its kind homologated by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) for competition in the ALMS and the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans. The new car passed the ACO's stringent technical inspection on its first attempt.

MSB competed in the 2001 ALMS finale - the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta - but used the race as a rookie test for the new car and team. With the knowledge gained in the 1000-mile event, together with intense testing since, the team is ready to evaluate its performance in the Sebring race.

Kelleners, who scored a podium finish at Sebring last year, said he is anxious to see the results of the team's development work.

"The last time I was at Sebring, I was on the podium, so I have good memories of the track! I hope we can have a good result again," he said.

"I like working with John and the team, and it's very interesting to be a part of developing a car from scratch. I know all the mechanics and I have the highest respect for all of them because of the way they work. Since the Petit Le Mans, the team has been working hard making the car more reliable and faster. I'm looking forward to the race - it's going to be interesting to look at what we gained throughout the last couple of months."

Franchitti is enthused, too.

"It's great to be driving the Ferrari 360 Modena again and being back with the MSB guys is fantastic," he said. "When we raced at Atlanta, it was only a test. Now we've had a chance to do some testing, we believe the car's a lot better and only the race at Sebring will tell us how competitive we are. The improvements are unbelievable, it's a different car completely, it feels really, really good.

"I'm so proud to be driving in the 50th Sebring, what a landmark! Just to complete the race would be fantastic and whatever comes after that would be a bonus."

-msb/sp-

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Series ALMS
Drivers Ralf Kelleners , Marino Franchitti

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