Dome for Nielsen
John Nielsen has put together a complicated package involving his personal backer, Karsten Ree (head of the Den Bla Avis publishing company), Team Goh, and the Dome Motor Company, to run a Judd powered Dome S-101 at Le Mans and in the FIA Sportscar Championship. His co-driver will be Hiroki Katoh, who has just driven his last race for Panoz Motorsports, and Caspar Elgard is expected to join them at Le Mans. No Le Mans Series events appear on Nielsen's calendar.
Larbre chooses Viper
Jack Leconte has decided to run a Chrysler Viper GTS-R in this year's FIA GT Championship, nominating Christophe Bouchut as his lead driver. Last year, Bouchut won the N-GT category in the FIA GT Championship in a Larbre Competition Porsche GT3R, which co-driver Patrice Goueslard will again campaign this year.
Says Bouchut: "The FIA GT series was really good last year and will be even better in 2001. I really wanted to stay and I am very happy to be moving up to the Viper. Our target is to go for overall victories next season. We don't know the car, but Larbre is a good team."
Rafanelli announces possible drivers
Gabriele Rafanelli has released names of seven drivers who may take the wheel of his two (or three) Ferrari 550 Maranellos in the FIA GT Championship. Marc Duez, who has tested the Italtechnica prepared 550, tops the list followed by Jean-Marc Gounon, Pierre-Henri Raphanel, Johnny Cecotto, Dieter Quester, Gunther Bleininger and possibly Steve Soper, if Peugeot UK, to which he has commited for the BTCC, gives permission. FIA GT champion Julian Bailey is working hard to get onto Rafanelli's list.
Ascari sports car boss Klaas Zwart has "more or less decided" to run the Judd powered A410 in the FIA Sportscar Championship, but has decided against sending a car to Valencia later this month for a final back-to-back test against Team Rafanelli's Lola B2K/10. "I don't think Rafanelli is really serious about our car, so we will control our own destiny" says the Dutchman. Ascari's single car entry in the FIA championship will be for Werner Lupberger and another young driver. Zwart will submit three entries for Le Mans and would, if successful, drive one himself.
Parkes hopes to contest the championship
Nick Parkes, son of the late Ferrari driver and designer Mike Parkes, hopes to put together a team to contest the FIA Sportscar Championship.