DEVLIN SET FOR LONG-AWAITED LE MANS DEBUT Ben Devlin could hardly believe he finally gets his shot at Le Mans. But as the old saying goes, the best things come to those who wait. So Devlin will suit up in the 24 Hours of Le...
DEVLIN SET FOR LONG-AWAITED LE MANS DEBUT
Ben Devlin could hardly believe he finally gets his shot at Le Mans. But as the old saying goes, the best things come to those who wait. So Devlin will suit up in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for Team Bruichladdich and its Radical SR9-AER in LMP2 with his first taste of La Sarthe coming Sunday at the annual Test Day.
Devlin, the lead driver for B-K Motorsports' Mazda-powered Lola in the American Le Mans Series' LMP2 class, will team with Marc Rostan and Yutaka Yamagishi at Le Mans.
"This is the best of the best," Devlin said. "You learn never to give up, and appropriately our slogan in the American Le Mans Series is 'The Will to Never Give Up.' It's really great to be here. I've been here as a fan many times."
Devlin's inclusion brings the number of drivers representing the American Le Mans Series up to 42.
"What strikes me the most is the unbelievable support and following . how far people travel to come to this race," he said. "And the atmosphere is unbelievable. Seeing the grid before the race makes your hair stand up on end. To see what the teams go through to get there is definitely something very special."
Considering Devlin's standing with Mazda in the States and the Japanese marque's return to Le Mans this year, the ideal situation would have been for Devlin to drive the Lola-Mazda of the Kruse Schiller Motorsport team from Germany. But that lineup already had been filled before Radical came calling.
"I had raced Radical SR3s for a number of years in Europe," Devlin recalled. "We were leading the 2006 SR3 championship in England, and the last race was the same weekend as our race at Laguna Seca when van der Steur Racing was running an SR9.
"It's a great car and great little package," Devlin added. "It would have been great to be back with Mazda being back at Le Mans. The engine is a good engine and Le Mans would be a good fit for it. This is something I couldn't pass up."
The 76th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans runs from 9 a.m. ET (3 p.m. local time) from the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France. Forty-two drivers will be representing the American Le Mans Series, whose teams have captured seven overall victories and 22 class championships since 1999. SPEED will televise the event live, and Radio Le Mans will have flag-to- flag coverage of the race as well as the June 1 test day, and practice and qualifying on June 11 and 12.
The next round of the American Le Mans Series is the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix. The race is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 12 at Lime Rock Park. SPEED will televise the race live as will XM Satellite Radio on XM Sports Nation Channel 144. Live coverage from American Le Mans Radio and IMSA's Live Timing & Scoring also will be available at americanlemans.com.