SWISS SPIRIT, PRIMAT AND FASSLER CONFIRMED FOR LE MANS 24 HOURS
Swiss Spirit, the team for which sportscar drivers Harold Primat and Marcel Fassler will race throughout 2006, has been accepted for entry into the world's greatest endurance race - the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Le Mans organisers, the A.C.O., yesterday confirmed the final group of invitees who will have the honour of competing in this most famous of motor races.
For Swiss Spirit, this confirmation of their entry is a remarkable accomplishment, as team boss Serge Saulnier explains:
"I am very proud to have had our entry accepted because this is our first year of international sportscar racing. We have a great track-record in single-seaters, but we are humble enough to realise that we have a lot to prove in the endurance racing world. To be accepted is a fabulous reflection on the seriousness with which we have gone about this project and the amount we have achieved in a short space of time. Between the end of the 2005 season and now, we have effectively put together an entirely new team from scratch - none of which would have been possible without the outstanding contribution of all our partners, including Courage Competition, Judd and Michelin, whom I would like to thank very much. I would also like to say thank you to every member of our team for their efforts as well as the A.C.O for their faith in us, which we will work hard to reward with a strong and professional display at Le Mans."
The Swiss Spirit squad endured a tough pre-season test at the Paul Ricard circuit in Southern France last weekend as Swiss driver, Harold Primat, explains:
"We were fully expecting a difficult first test with this car, just because everything is so completely new. But at the end of the day, that's why you go testing -- to unearth potential problems! Our running was initially restricted by a machining problem on a part in the gearbox, but the team did a great job to fix it on Sunday night. This allowed my team mate, Marcel Fassler, and I to get more laps in on Monday which will help us gather data about the car and move forward with its development."
Marcel Fassler, a highly-rated Swiss German driver with a glittering history in the DTM championship for Mercedes and Opel, was impressed with his first experience of the new Courage chassis and Judd V10 engine:
"Sure we have some work to do, but I can safely say that for the first test of a brand new car, I was very pleased. The car has an inherently good balance and the amount of horsepower and downforce available feels fantastic! I'm really excited about our prospects for Le Mans and cannot wait to get there because it will be my first time in this incredible race. I am so pleased to be a part of this team -- they are a very professional and highly motivated outfit and I am very confident that they will hit the ground running this year."