David Brabham kicks off championship

Motorsport legends Juan Manuel Fangio, Mario Andretti and AJ Foyt have tasted success here; even movie star Steve McQueen has finished second. ­ Now Australian sportscar star David Brabham has his sights set on victory in the historic 12 Hours...

Motorsport legends Juan Manuel Fangio, Mario Andretti and AJ Foyt have tasted success here; even movie star Steve McQueen has finished second. ­ Now Australian sportscar star David Brabham has his sights set on victory in the historic 12 Hours of Sebring.

The opening round of the 2000 Le Mans Series, Brabham will head the Panoz team against a strong field including factory entries from BMW, Audi and Cadillac.

Brabham's older brother Geoff has twice tasted success here, now the youngest member of the Brabham family is keen to use success at this event as a springboard for his title aspirations in the 2000 Championship.

"You get extra points at Sebring so it is really important for the championship to do well here at the opening race," Brabham said.

"The champion finished second here last year, we didn't finish and I only lost last year's title by a couple of points.

"This race also has a great history and I would love to add victory in this race to my C.V..

"The 12-hours of Sebring feels more like 48 hours at Le Mans because it is probably the bumpiest circuit in the world.

"You really need a good set-up that soaks the bumps up. The track really takes a toll on gearboxes, differentials and drivers as well."

Brabham will be teamed with fellow ex-Grand Prix drivers Jan Magnussen and Pierre Henri Rapheael aboard the Panoz LMP-1 Roadster S which has set the pace in pre-season testing.

He will face a tough opposition with BMW and Audi both entering two factory cars and Cadillac running three new machines.

BMW's squad features former Grand Prix star JJ Lehto and touring car ace Steve Soper while the talent packed Audi outfit includes ex-F1 drivers Michele Albereto and Emanuele Pirro and the highly rated Scottish sportscar ace, Alan McNish.

The battle for outright honours will be strengthened by the Team Rafanelli Lola and Stefan Johansson's new Reynard which he will share with fellow team-owner Jim Matthews and young British ace Guy Smith.

Fresh from their stunning victory in the 24-Hours of Daytona, the Oreca Dodge Viper team will start the season as championship favorites in the GTS class. The team will field three cars at Sebring, while arch-rivals Corvette will be out for revenge after just failing to topple the Viper squad at Daytona.

There will be more Australian flavour in the production car-based GT category with Perth driver Rohan Skea entering a two car Porsche 911 GT3 R team.

The Porsche teams will face stiff opposition from BMW which debut its new M3 racer at the Sebring event.

The 12 Hours of Sebring is the opening round of the 12 round Le Mans Series which culminates in Adelaide's Race of a Thousand Years on December 31 this year. Winners in each class of the six-hour Adelaide New Year's Eve event will gain automatic entry into next year¹s Le Mans 24 Hours.

The opening round of the championship will be staged on Saturday, March 18.

SEBRING ENTRIES

PROTOTYPES 0 - Domenico Schiattarella/Pierluigi Martini/Didier de Radigues Team Rafanelli, Lola B2K/10/Rafanelli V8

1 - David Brabham/Jan Magnussen/Pierre Henri Rapheael Panoz Motorsport, Panoz LMP-1 Roadster S

2 - Johnny O¹Connell/Hiroki Katoh/Klaus Graf Panoz Motorsport, Panoz LMP-1 Roadster S

8 - Scott Schubot/Henry Camferdam Philip Creighton Motorsport, Lola B2K/10/Ford

9 - Frank Lagorce/Butch Leitzinger/Andy Wallace Team Cadillac, Cadillac Northstar LMP

19 - Wayne Taylor/Max Angelelli/Eric van de Poele Team Cadillac, Cadillac Northstar LMP

27 - Fredy Lienhard/Didier Theys/Mauro Baldi Doran/Lista Racing,Ferrari 333 SP

28 - TBA Intersport Racing, Riley & Scott Mk III/Ford

31 - Eric Bernard/Emmanuel Collard/Christophe Tinseau Motorola-DAMS, Cadillac Northstar LMP

36 - Stefan Johansson/Guy Smith/Jim Matthews Johansson Matthews Racing, Reynard 2KQ/Judd

37 - John Field/Don Whittington/Dale Whittington Intersport Racing,Lola B98/10/Ford

38 - Dorsey Schroeder/Ralf Kelleners Champion Racing, Lola B2K/10/Porsche

42 - JJ Lehto/Jorg Muller BMW Motorsport, BMW V12 LMR

43 - Bill Auberlen/Jean-Marc Gounon/Steve Soper BMW Motorsport, BMW V12 LMR

74 - George Robinson/Jack Baldwin/Irv Hoerr Robinson Racing, Reynard 2KQ/Judd

77 - Michele Alboreto/Rinaldo Capello/Allan McNish Audi Sport North America, Audi R8

78 - Frank Biela/Tom Kristensen/Emanuele Pirro Audi Sport North America, Audi R8

79 - Patrice Roussel/John Macaluso Sezio Florida Racing Team,Norma/BMW

02 - Gunther Blieninger/Norman Simon/Mark Simo Pole Team, Riley & Scott Mk III/Judd

06 - Scott Maxell/John Graham/David Empringham Multimatic Motorsport,Lola B98/10/Ford

GTS

3 - Ron Fellows/Chris Kniefel/Justin Bell Corvette Racing, Chevrolet Corvette C5-R

4 - Andy Pilgrim/Kelly Collins/Frank Freon Corvette Racing,Chevrolet Corvette C5-R

32 - Franz Konrad/Charlie Slater Konrad Motorsport,Porsche 911 Turbo

91 - Olivier Beretta/Karl Wendlinger/Dominique Dupuy Viper Team Oreca, Dodge Viper GTS-R

92 - Tommy Archer/Marc Duez/David Donohue Viper Team Oreca, Dodge Viper GTS-R

93 - Jean-Philippe Belloc/Ni Amorim/Anthony Beltoise Viper Team Oreca, Dodge Viper GTS-R

07 - Claudia Hurtgen/Hubert Haupt/Vic Rice Roock Motorsport North America, Porsche 911 Turbo

08 - Zak Brown/Stephen Earle Roock Motorsport North America,Porsche 911 Turbo

GT

5 - Dirk Muller/Lucas Luhr Dick Barbour Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 R

6 - Boris Said/Hans Stuck/ Johannes van Overbeek Prototype Technology Group, BMW E46 M3

09 - Brian Cunningham/Peter Cunningham/Darren Law Prototype Technology Group, BMW E46 M3

20 - Cort Wagner/Shane Lewis/Bob Mazzuoccola MCR/Aspen Knolls, Porsche 911 GT3 R

23 - Bruno Lambert/Randy Pobst/Kike Conte Alex Job Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 R

29 - Dale White/Michael Petersen White Lightning Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 R

41 - Patrick Cruchet/TBA Team LR Organisation, Porsche 911 GT3 R

51 - Bob Wollek/Sascha Maassen Dick Barbour Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 R

52 - Tony Burgess/Philip Collin/Kurt Mathewson Seikel Motorsport, Porsche 911 GT3 R

66 - Kevin Buckler/TBA The Racers Group, Porsche 911 GT3 R

69 - Kye Wankum/Greg Doff/Rudy Bartling Kyser Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 R

70 - David Murry/Johnny Mowlem Skea Racing International, Porsche 911 GT3 R

71 - Rohan Skea/Lloyd Hawkins/Grady Willingham Skea Racing International, Porsche 911 GT3 R

75 - Michael Laurer/Michael Brockman/Gunnar Jeannette Gunnar Porsche, Porsche 911 GT3 R

87 - Kurt Baumann/Dave Dullum/Ian James MCR/Nygmatechm, Porsche 911 RSR

88 - Leo Hindery/John Lewis/Peter Baron MCR/Nygmatech, Porsche 911 GT3 R

89 - Jim McCormick/Tim Robertson MCR/Nygmatech, Porsche 911 GT3 R

03 - Joel Reiser/Hurley Haywood/Craig Stanton Reiser Callas Rennsport, Porsche 911 GT3 R

07 - Phillip Peter/Dieter Quester/Luca Riccitelli RWS Motorsport, Porsche 911 GT3 R

-Paul Ryan-

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Series ALMS
Drivers Andy Wallace , Shane Lewis , David Brabham , Stefan Johansson , Rinaldo Capello , Didier de Radigues , Tom Kristensen , Dirk Müller , Jan Magnussen , Franz Konrad , Allan McNish , Bruno Lambert , Guy Smith , Frank Biela , Butch Leitzinger , Boris Said , Ralf Kelleners , Didier Theys , Karl Wendlinger , Norman Simon , Klaus Graf , Ron Fellows , Andy Pilgrim , Emmanuel Collard , Wayne Taylor , Eric van de Poele , David Murry , Ni Amorim , Christophe Tinseau , Jorg Muller , Fredy Lienhard , Bill Auberlen , Tommy Archer , Mauro Baldi , John Graham , Stephen Earle , Randy Pobst , Tony Burgess , Justin Bell , Sascha Maassen , Claudia Hurtgen , Kelly Collins , Jim McCormick , Hubert Haupt , Mario Andretti , Kevin Buckler , Ian James , Leo Hindery , Peter Baron , Jack Baldwin , Hurley Haywood , Darren Law , Ryan Paul , David Donohue , Dick Barbour , George Robinson , Michele Alboreto , David Empringham , Juan Manuel Fangio , Gunnar Jeannette , John Macaluso , Max Angelelli , Dorsey Schroeder , Hiroki Katoh , Peter Cunningham , Johannes van Overbeek , Jean-Philippe Belloc , Luca Riccitelli , Jim Matthews , Brian Cunningham , Dieter Quester , Johnny Mowlem , Craig Stanton , Michael Petersen , Vic Rice , Domenico Schiattarella , Henry Camferdam , Patrice Roussel , Michael Brockman , Jean-Marc Gounon , Olivier Beretta , Grady Willingham , Bob Wollek , Don Whittington , Steve Soper , Marc Duez , Dominique Dupuy , Alex Job , Anthony Beltoise , Philipp Peter , Lloyd Hawkins , John Lewis , Bob Mazzuoccola , Zak Brown , Emanuele Pirro , JJ Lehto , Cort Wagner , Tim Roberts
Teams Corvette Racing , DAMS , Alex Job Racing