ACURA ANNOUNCES THREE-TEAM LINEUP FOR 2007 AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES SEASON Andretti Green Racing, Fernandez Racing and Highcroft Racing will campaign Acura-powered LMP2 entries in the 2007 American Le Mans Series. Portland - Relying on their...
ACURA ANNOUNCES THREE-TEAM LINEUP FOR 2007 AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES SEASON
Andretti Green Racing, Fernandez Racing and Highcroft Racing will campaign Acura-powered LMP2 entries in the 2007 American Le Mans Series. Portland - Relying on their years of experience in various forms of motorsports, Honda Performance Development Inc., announced today the three world-class teams that will field its Acura-powered LMP2 entries in the American Le Mans Series starting in 2007.
Highcroft Racing, Fernandez Racing and Andretti Green Racing will spearhead Acura's entry into top-level sports car racing next season, pitting their Acura-powered LMP2 prototypes against full factory and manufacturer-supported efforts from Audi, Porsche, Mazda, as well as a variety of independent teams. The 55th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring will mark the debut of the Acura LMP2 powerplant.
"Today's announcement is another big step forward for Acura's factory program and the American Le Mans Series," said Scott Atherton, President and CEO of the American Le Mans Series. "This collection of teams represents some of the most established and prestigious names in motorsports. The combination of three represents the best of both Acura and the American Le Mans Series.
"The opportunity to bring teams like Andretti Green Racing and Fernandez Racing into the American Le Mans Series is something for which we are constantly striving," he said. "But in this case the credit belongs to Acura. The successes they have had in various forms of motorsports speak for themselves. And we could not be more proud to see Duncan Dayton and the entire Highcroft Racing organization embraced by the Acura factory program. We have no doubt that all three teams will be well-prepared for their debut at Sebring next year and for the entire 2007 season."
Andretti Green and Highcroft will each field Acura-Courage LC75 entries next season, with Highcroft designated as the team that will work closest with HPD in chassis development. The Fernandez organization will run an Acura-powered Lola B05/40 and will be the team most focused on ongoing engine development.
All three teams will utilize Michelin competition tires. XM Satellite Radio will be the primary sponsor of the Andretti Green Racing Acura Courage. Lowe's will serve as title sponsor of the Acura Lola run by the Fernandez organization. Complete driver and sponsors lineups for all three teams will be announced in the near future with testing to begin in August.
"We're thrilled to have teams the caliber of Highcroft, Fernandez and Andretti Green join us in our entry into American Le Mans Series competition," said Robert Clarke, president of Honda Performance Development. "Both the Andretti Green and Fernandez teams have been integral parts of our open-wheel racing programs, so it is entirely appropriate that we expand our relationships with them in our newest racing program.
"While new to our 'family', Duncan Dayton's Highcroft organization is impressive and perfectly fits the needs of our new chassis development program," Clarke added. "A team that is young and with limited experience, but with aspirations of being a formidable team capable of competing against the best, Highcroft has expectations and goals that are in complete alignment with those of HPD. Acura faces a huge challenge with its entry into American Le Mans Series racing and we do not underestimate that challenge."
Acura is the luxury brand of American Honda Motor Company. It announced plans in April to enter the American Le Mans Series in 2007, the first factory motorsports effort in its 20-year history. Acura principals cited the Series' platform of allowing the world's most prestigious manufacturers to display the latest in leading-edge technology on a global stage to a worldwide affluent audience as a major factor in the decision to enter.
When the 2007 American Le Mans Series season opens, Acura will stand alongside premier marques including Audi, Aston Martin, BMW, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Lexus, Mazda, Panoz, Porsche and Saleen on the grid that boasts more than 10 of the world's elite automobile manufacturers competing head-to-head. No other motorsports series in the world boasts the manufacturer participation present in the American Le Mans Series.
"The 2007 LMP2 grid will further demonstrate to our current and prospective corporate partners, worldwide television audience and our tremendous fan base why the American Le Mans Series is the premium brand of motorsports," Atherton said. "The P2 class will feature a collection of the world's best factory and independent teams, multiple tire companies and engine manufacturers that are second-to-none. These are exciting times for the American Le Mans Series, and as we turn our attention toward 2007 and our ninth season, clearly the best is yet come!"
The American Le Mans Series
The American Le Mans Series is the premium brand of motorsport in North America, featuring high-tech sports cars from the most prestigious automobile manufacturers in the world. Its unique four classes of competition showcase exotic, open-top prototypes and sophisticated production-based GT cars, all competing on the track at the same time. The American Le Mans Series competes at the premier road racing tracks across North America and at selected temporary street circuits in major urban markets. With a television package that includes five network broadcasts on CBS and five broadcasts on SPEED Channel, plus live broadcasts across Europe, the series delivers a global marketing platform that is unmatched in motorsports. The series, founded in 1999 by Georgia entrepreneur Don Panoz, represents a mirror image to the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world's most famous and authentic automobile race. The American Le Mans Series features elite marques such as Audi, Porsche, BMW, Corvette, Aston Martin, Ferrari and Panoz, and premium brands such as Michelin, Pirelli, Jean-Richard Swiss Watches and many others.
Acura offers a full line of technologically advanced luxury performance vehicles through a nationwide network of more than 260 dealers. The 2007 Acura lineup features five distinctive models, the RL luxury sedan, the TL performance luxury sedan, the TSX sports sedan, the turbo-charged RDX luxury crossover utility vehicle and the award-winning MDX luxury sport utility vehicle.