Brabham, Magnussen reunite with Prodrive Ferrari

BRASELTON, Ga. - David Brabham and Jan Magnussen, a winning and popular driving duo in the American Le Mans Series for three years, will reunite and join a new racing team as they return to ALMS competition in the Jul. 25-27 series event at ...

BRASELTON, Ga. - David Brabham and Jan Magnussen, a winning and popular driving duo in the American Le Mans Series for three years, will reunite and join a new racing team as they return to ALMS competition in the Jul. 25-27 series event at California's Infineon Raceway.

Brabham and Magnussen will be joining the driving lineup for Care Racing Development's Prodrive Ferrari team and will steer a Ferrari 550 Maranello in the red-hot GTS class of the American Le Mans Series. They will drive as part of a two-car team from the Prodrive stable, with the 24 Hours of Le Mans-winning duo of Tomas Enge and Peter Kox in the other car.

In addition, Care Racing founder Frederic Dor, the inspiration for the Prodrive Ferrari program, indicated that the team would field a third Ferrari 550 Maranello later this season for rising young American racer Danica Patrick and Frenchman Jerome Policand. Patrick and Policand drove for the team in the recent ALMS event at Road Atlanta, Patrick's debut in the series.

The addition of Brabham and Magnussen, as well as a third entry from the Prodrive team, brings more heat to the GTS class in the American Le Mans Series where the two-car factory Corvette team is battling the Prodrive and Team Olive Garden Ferrari entries. The battle began late in the 2002 season and has caught the attention of sports car racing fans around the world.

"It has become clear to me over the last year that, thanks to Prodrive, we have an exceptional racing car with the potential to win many races and championships," said Dor.

"When we returned to the American Le Mans Series (following the team's win at Le Mans), it also became clear that the level of competition had risen again and we need to match that progression in order to be able to truly compete and win," he said. "We know that Tomas and Peter are a great team, well-established with the car and each other, and we wanted to be able to give them an equal partnership in the other car to try and win the championship."

Brabham and Magnussen were a winning duo in the 2000-2002 seasons for the former factory Panoz team in the American Le Mans Series, scoring five overall race wins together during that time. One of those victories came in last year's ALMS event at Infineon (formerly Sears Point) Raceway. Each also drove for the Panoz team in 1999, the inaugural season of the ALMS, but with different co-drivers.

Brabham, one of Australia's most successful racers ever, has numerous championships and wins to his credit in many forms of motorsports throughout the world. He started 24 Formula One races and won both the prestigious British F3 Championship and the F3 World Cup at Macau. He has seven career wins in ALMS competition, two coming in 1999 before he joined with Magnussen. Earlier this year, he raced for Bentley at Sebring and Le Mans.

"I'm really excited to be back in the American Le Mans Series," said Brabham. "And I'm just as excited to be driving again with my old friend Jan Magnussen. I look forward to having some great dices in the Ferrari against the Corvettes and with our old friend (Corvette driver) Johnny O'Connell. It will be great fun."

Until missing the recent ALMS event at Road Atlanta, Denmark's Magnussen had competed in every series event held since its formation. In addition to his five wins with Brabham, he won a race in 1999 to give him six career ALMS triumphs. Known for his all-out style of driving, Magnussen won the ALMS "From the Fans" award in 2002. His resume includes Formula One, CART, German Touring Cars and Danish Touring Cars.

Dor indicated that the third car for Patrick and Policand will happen as soon as a car is available to ship to the US and the necessary arrangements can be made. "We do not want to lose contact with any of our drivers, so Care Racing is therefore planning to run a third Ferrari 550 for Danica, who fitted in with the team so well and who brought so much to us," he said.

"Danica and Jerome both performed exceptionally well at Road Atlanta, given that they had little time with the car and the track beforehand, but the advantage that David and Jan have is they know each track very well and - as we know - can compete together at the highest level."

The Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma, presented by the Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa and Foster's Lager, will be Round 3 of the nine-race American Le Mans Series season for 2003. The race will be televised live in North America by NBC Sports and will be broadcast live by the American Le Mans Series Radio Web at www.americanlemans.com.

Ticket information is available online at www.infineonraceway.com or by calling the Infineon Raceway ticket office at 1-800-870-RACE.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Tomas Enge , David Brabham , Jan Magnussen , Peter Kox , Jérome Policand , Frederic Dor , Danica Patrick