BRASELTON, Ga. - The new Barron Connor Ferrari racing team, with former Indianapolis 500 winner Danny Sullivan as a driver, has submitted the first official entry for the 52nd annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The 12-hour sports car ...
BRASELTON, Ga. - The new Barron Connor Ferrari racing team, with former Indianapolis 500 winner Danny Sullivan as a driver, has submitted the first official entry for the 52nd annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
The 12-hour sports car endurance race at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway will open the 2004 season for the American Le Mans Series Mar. 17-20. Up to 60 cars will be allowed to start the event on the 3.7-mile road racing circuit and the IMSA Selection Committee will choose the 60 starters from all entries that are received by the January 28 deadline. ALMS events include four classes of race cars, all competing at the same time for class wins and the overall win.
The Barron Connor team, based in The Netherlands, will run a pair of factory-built Ferrari 575 GTC machines that will compete in the GTS class in the Sebring event. Sullivan, from Louisville, Ky., and John Bosch of The Netherlands will be two of the team's drivers, with more to be announced.
"I'm really excited about being back in the saddle again and racing at Sebring," said Sullivan, who won the Indy 500 in 1985 and was CART champion in 1988. "I've raced at Sebring a few times but never had the results I'd have liked. This opportunity has come together for me to go there and have some fun again.
"Sebring is a very special track and has such a great history," he said. "The people who come there are special and it's a great crowd with diehard race fans and a festival atmosphere. It's just a neat place."
Sullivan and Bosch recently had the opportunity to test the new 575 GTC at Ferrari's test track, Pista di Fiorano, adjacent to the Ferrari factory in Maranello, Italy. The car is the first GT racing car built by the Ferrari factory in 30 years.
"To go to Maranello and experience the ambience was so incredible," said Sullivan. "Of course, you know the magic that is Ferrari, but to see, feel and be a small part of it is something else. Being there was really moving and made me feel like a kid again. The car was fantastic. We just turned it on and it ran all day without any trouble. The potential is definitely there and I feel that we have the right car for what promises to be the most competitive class in sports car racing."
"We are nicely on schedule," said Bosch. "We are now finalizing our pre-season testing program, while the second car will be ready in time for Sebring. We are a new team, but I believe we have brought together a lot of expertise and experience. As for drivers, interest is high and we are talking to many people at the moment."
The 52nd annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring will get the green flag at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 20, and will be televised live from flag-to-flag by the Speed Channel. The American Le Mans Series Radio Web will have live coverage online at www.americanlemans.com.
Ticket information is available online at www.sebringraceway.com or by calling (863) 655-1442 (toll-free 800-626-RACE).