Theys, Lienhard to Compete in LMES In Lola Judd Fielded by Horag-Lista Racing SPA, Belgium, April 13 - As drivers, teams and cars head to Spa-Francorchamps for this weekend's Le Mans Endurance Series (LMES) event, drivers Didier Theys and Fredy...
Theys, Lienhard to Compete in LMES In Lola Judd Fielded by Horag-Lista Racing
SPA, Belgium, April 13 - As drivers, teams and cars head to Spa-Francorchamps for this weekend's Le Mans Endurance Series (LMES) event, drivers Didier Theys and Fredy Lienhard Sr. are announcing plans to join them at similar events later this year and beyond.
Their long-time sponsor, Lista, the worldwide leader in modular storage units, will be the primary sponsor of a brand-new Lola B05/40 Judd V8 they will drive in the LMES' LMP2 class beginning in July. The car will be entered by Markus Hotz's Horag Racing, a team both drivers have been associated with in the past which is located in Sulgen, Switzerland, just a few kilometers away from Lista's corporate headquarters in Erlen.
The entry will be the Horag-Lista Racing Lista Lola Judd No. 27.
After the new bright-red Lista Lola Judd is completed and its shake-down test conducted, it is expected to be entered in the LMES races in Monza, Italy July 9-10; Silverstone, England Aug. 12-13; Nurburgring, Germany Sept. 3-4; the Petit Le Mans American Le Mans Series (ALMS) race at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. in the United States Sept. 30-Oct. 1; and at Istanbul, Turkey Nov. 12-13. All are 1,000-kilometer events that take about six hours to complete.
The Horag-Lista team plans to do the complete LMES schedule in 2006 and 2007, and hopes to earn enough points each year to be invited to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Two ALMS races in the United States are also on its 2006 and 2007 schedules: the 12 Hours of Sebring and the Petit Le Mans.
Americans are most familiar with both Theys and Lienhard behind the wheel of the famous Doran-Lista Dallara Judd and the Doran-Lista DORAN JE4 Lexus. Under the direction of Kevin Doran and with Theys and Lienhard as part of the driver roster, the former car was the overall winner of the 2002 Rolex 24 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
Both Lienhard and Theys raced with Horag Racing prior to their involvement with Doran Racing, however. Hotz built Lienhard's first Formula Vee in the sixties, so they have an almost 40-year friendship. Lienhard drove Horag-prepared Formula Vees, Formula 2 cars and sports cars in the seventies and eighties, becoming the Swiss Vice Champion of Sportscar in 1975.
Hotz knew Theys from Formula 2 racing, and he introduced Theys to Lienhard at the end of 1994. In 1995 Hotz started preparing Lienhard's Ferrari 333 SPs in the IMSA World SportsCar championship under the Horag-Lista banner, and Theys joined Lienhard as that car's co-driver for the first time that year. Between 1995 and 1998 Theys and Lienhard recorded approximately 10 podium finishes and had several victories with the Horag-Lista Ferrari on both sides of the Atlantic, and in 1998 Horag-Lista was vice-champion of the International Sports Racing Series (ISRS).
Theys also drove in endurance sports car events for Doran Racing in America for the first time in 1995, and Lienhard joined him there for selected events starting in 1996. From that point on they recorded many American victories with Doran-Lista Racing.
"Racing again with Markus and Fredy in Europe will be just like the old days," Theys said. "I think we'll have a very competitive package with the Lola Judd. I know we're starting in the middle of the season this year, but we're looking at it as great preparation for a full assault on the championship in 2006."
"After retiring from Grand American racing in 2004, I thought my racing career was over," Lienhard said, "but I very quickly found out that my life would not be as enjoyable without racing. I look forward to the friendship in our Swiss-international team and the many experiences and challenges ahead of us. I am also extremely happy to be racing in the United States again, first in Atlanta, followed by Sebring in early 2006."
"To go racing with friends, where everyone trusts each other, is a dream for a team owner," said Hotz. "When I look to the experienced people we have assembled and the motivation of our team, I think we're ready to take on the challenge. We have the full support of the factory, which makes us sure that we have chosen the right car and the right engine."