Silverstone: Series round five preview

YOUNG GUNS STEP UP FOR PROTOTYPE DEBUT AT SILVESTONE Two young British stars are set to make their prototype debut at the Silverstone round of the Le Mans Series after Team LNT announced a surprise entry in the "LM"P2 class for this...

YOUNG GUNS STEP UP FOR PROTOTYPE DEBUT AT SILVESTONE

Two young British stars are set to make their prototype debut at the Silverstone round of the Le Mans Series after Team LNT announced a surprise entry in the "LM"P2 class for this weekend.

Tom Kimber-Smith and Danny Watts have driven for Team LNT in the "LM"GT2 class aboard a Panoz Esperante throughout 2007.

However, at Silverstone the duo will drive a Zytek 07S prototype -- the same car raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans by Brit Robbie Kerr, Mexican Adrian Fernandez and Japanese driver Haruki Kurosawa.

The step up to the faster prototype class will present a unique challenge to the young Brits. Usually, they have to keep one eye on their mirrors for the faster traffic while fighting for success in "LM"GT2. Now they will be one of the cars the Ferrari 430, Porsche 911 and Panoz Esperante entries will have to watch out for.

Kimber-Smith is a former Formula 3 ace who previously won the British Formula Ford Championship while Watts is also a ex-Formula 3 star who won the British Formula Renault Championship crown.

"I'm very excited at the opportunity to step up to a prototype entry for Silverstone," Watts said.

"Career wise, this is certainly where I want to be. Silverstone is also my home circuit -- I only live five miles away in Buckingham.

"Tom and I would love to come away from the Silverstone weekend with a victory.

"We won't get to drive the car until Friday morning's practice session. My friend Robbie Kerr has raced the Zytek before so I have already been on the phone to find out what to expect."

BRITISH ACES TO CHASE DOWN PEUGEOT DIESEL

While Peugeot has led the charge for outright honours in 2007, a host of British teams will be out to challenge the diesel-powered French manufacturer in the "LM"P1 class.

Le Mans Series regulars Creation Autosportif has its own Judd-powered chassis with Brit Jamie Campbell-Walter joined by Swiss driver Felipe Ortiz and Japanese ace Haruki Kurosawa.

British Touring Car Championship ace Tom Chilton returns to the sportscars for the first time since the Nurburgring round to race the Arena International Motorsport Zytek with his 16-year-old brother. Max Chilton is stepping up from the British Formula 3 Championship.

Rollcentre Racing will be one to watch with its French Pescarolo chassis. The Martin Short-led team finished fourth in the Le Mans 24 Hours this year. Short is joined behind the wheel for the 1000km journey by Joao Barbosa and Stuart Hall.

Chamberlain Synergy Motorsport has an all-British line-up aboard their Lola B06/10. Gareth Evans, Bob Berridge and Peter Owen will be out to wave the Union Jack at Silverstone.

ALL THE ON TRACK ACTION AT SILVERSTONE

The world's finest sportscar drivers are set to hit the track for the first time on Friday (September 14) when the Le Mans Series holds two 60-minute practice sessions at Silverstone -- one at 10.30am and a second at 3.30pm.

The final practice session is staged on Saturday morning (September 15) at 9.30am.

The teams are split for qualifying with the prototype classes -- "LM"P1 and "LM"P2 on track for 20 minutes from 1.45pm.

The "LM"GT1 and "LM"GT2 classes follow with their own qualifying session at 2.10pm.

All cars can take part in a final 20-minute warm-up on Sunday (September 16) at 8.45am. The Silverstone round of the Le Mans Series gets the green light at 12.00noon. The 1000km journey will be fought over 196 laps and should take approximately six hours.

Support events at Silverstone over the weekend include the 207 Spider Cup, the Radical World Cup and historic cars from the Classic Endurance Racing championship.

-credit: lemans-series.com

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Series ELMS