Sebring, Fla. (March 15, 2001) - In a press conference held Thursday at Sebring International Raceway, Dick Barbour Racing announced the signing of two-time Sebring 12 Hours winner Eric van de Poele to complete the driver lineup for the...
Sebring, Fla. (March 15, 2001) - In a press conference held Thursday at Sebring International Raceway, Dick Barbour Racing announced the signing of two-time Sebring 12 Hours winner Eric van de Poele to complete the driver lineup for the team's two-car assault on the LMP-675 Championship in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). The effort will begin at the Donington Park, England round of the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) on April 14 where Van de Poele will co-pilot the #5 Dick Barbour Racing Reynard 01Q/Judd along with fellow Belgian, Didier de Radigues.
Van de Poele and de Radigues will be joined on Dick Barbour's team by Women's Global GT Series star Milka Duno of Venezuela and last year's Le Mans LMP 675 winner John Graham of Canada. The latter pair will co-drive the #57 Dick Barbour Racing Reynard 01Q/Judd.
In making the announcement Dick Barbour expressed his pleasure at adding van de Poele to the team of de Radigues, Duno and Graham. "I've enjoyed working with the world's best sports car and endurance drivers over the years and I've just added another to that list. Eric brings us a special level of talent and experience in the prototype category and we are happy to have him on board and ready to begin working with Reynard and Engine Developments to show everyone what the true potential of the LMP 675 category can be."
Between 1991 and 1993, van de Poele spent three years in Formula One. Soon after, he quickly established himself as one of the best in sportscars. He won back-to-back Sebring races in 1995 -96. In 1998, Eric won the LMP1 class at Le Ma ns and the inaugural Petit Le Mans. In 1999, he co-drove to victory with Mimmo Schiattarella at the April Road Atlanta round of the ALMS.
Dick Barbour Racing won the 2000 American Le Mans GT Championship with nine wins in twelve races. The team also contributed heavily to Porsche winning the GT Manufacturer's Championship. The team's four drivers finished first through fourth in GT driver points with Dirk Muller crowned as GT Driver champion. After the Donington Park round, the team expects to participate in the May 6 Le Mans trials followed by the Circuito de Jarama (Spain) round of the ELMS. The team then expects to complete its European swing with the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans, June 16-17 before returning to the states to run at Sears Point Raceway, July 22.