Paul Ricard HTTT
LE MANS SERIES ROLLS OUT AT RICARD
The South of France plays host to the first race of the 2011 Le Mans Series this weekend. The season of five 1000km races is being contested by CRS Racing, alongside its campaign in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup.
I don't see any reason why we can't get some good results in the new LM GTE-Am class.
In the CRS hot seat are three drivers well-known to the team. Klaas Hummel has been with CRS since 2009 and has completed seasons in FIA GT3 and International GT Open in the team's Ferrari 430. Phil Quaife also competed for CRS in FIA GT3 in 2009 and last year stepped up to the Le Mans Series, so of the three drivers he has the most experience of what lies ahead. Joining Hummel and Quaife is 21 year-old Adam Christodoulou who won the 2008 Formula Renault UK Championship with CRS. He's no stranger to sportscar racing though after a season in Grand Am and some guest appearances with CRS in the GT Open last year.
Quaife is very optimistic about the weekend ahead at Ricard, as he explains: "The car was good at the test and we had good pace on old rubber. Our new tyre run was spoiled by rain so we don't know exactly where we, are but I feel confident that we'll be up there. The team's good and the car's good so I have every reason to be optimistic. It will be good to race with my new team-mates. I spoke to Klaas the other day and he's fully up for it. I hope it stays dry so we can finish off the set up work we started at the test and I hope we will be up on the podium steps by the end of Sunday."
Christodoulou is also looking forward to getting the season started and is aiming for the podium: "It's going to be interesting to see how we compare to the others in our class. The test all looked promising for us but you can never tell until you go into a race situation. I'm hoping we will have some consistent weather conditions so we can really work to get the maximum out of the car. It will be good to get the season started and I hope we can go out there and bag our first podium."
"I don't see any reason why we can't get some good results in the new LM GTE-Am class," commented CRS Team Principal, Andrew Kirkaldy. "Klaas has come a very long way since 2009. He has learned a lot from his team-mates and I think this will be his best season yet. Phil did a great job in the Le Mans Series last year and really developed as a sportscar driver. Adam is a natural racer with a few championships under his belt and I have every confidence that he will have a great season."
The full race will be shown live on Motors TV on Sunday, with coverage starting at 1045hrs in the UK. If you would like to check out the qualifying times on Saturday lunchtime, live timing is available at www.lemans.series.com.
-source: crs racing