Danish team aim for Le Mans podium
Denmark's Team Essex and Britain's Zytek Engineering have struck a deal on the development and the running of the new Zytek LMP1 sports prototype at this year's Le Mans 24 hour race.
After the disappointment of 2005 the two partners have rejoined in an attack on the World's most famous motor race, this time with a confirmed entry.
Team owner Peter Halvorsen:
"It was a disappointment of proportions not to take part in last year's race, and we are very proud to present our programme today. With a 100 % Danish, and indeed a 100 % Team Essex crew in a car which is among the top five our team manager John Nielsen has given a task which is a huge challenge. We believe that a podium finish is possible and are looking forward to an exciting race in the middle of June in France where we along with 20,000 other Danes might experience the biggest triumph of all."
Zytek Engineering is working flat out these months to get the new 2006 Zytek Le Mans car up and running. The first shake down test of the car is planned to be held at the end of March. This will be followed by an intensive test programme as well as participation in the Spa 1000 km race as the last preparation for the big challenge in June.
Team manager John Nielsen:
"It will be my 18th Le Mans and aboard a competitive car. What more can you ask for as a racing driver? I'm looking forward to the challenge ahead and the fact that I have my Team Essex colleagues Casper Elgaard and Philip Andersen as my co-drivers will only make the challenge and the joy even bigger. With this crew we have the mixture of the flippancy of youth and the thoughtfulness of experience. We are aiming for the podium!"
"The fact that we won the classical 1000 km race at Spa with the Zytek car, where we proved that we belonged among the favourites at Le Mans, and then subsequently did not get a starting permit, just make me even more excited. Zytek will be building the new car on the experiences gained from the old car, which was one of the fastest sports prototypes in the World, and the lessons learnt from that makes me believe that we will be heading for the start with a car that has what it takes to win. Now it is up to us as a crew to make the best of it."
"It is hard to put into words how much I am looking forward to this new challenge. One of my lifelong dreams has come true, and together with John and Casper I will do my best to make this a success. To make my Le Mans debut with Team Essex just makes things easier. I know the staff and the team and I can thus concentrate on the task ahead. With John Nielsen being the captain I could not have imagined a better teacher."
"For the Essex organisation Le Mans is a unique opportunity to nurture our business relations and partners. We have chosen to decorate the car in the colours of Essex' as well as those of Denmark. We are Danish and have strong traditions at Le Mans, which started with John Nielsen as the country's first Le Mans winner and which has been continued by Tom Kristensen," Peter Halvorsen ends.