American Le Mans Series LMP 675 class continues growth; Marshall Cooke Racing to campaign two cars in 2003. BRASELTON, Ga. (October 18, 2002) -- From its small beginnings in the 2001 season, the LMP 675 class in the American Le Mans Series ...
American Le Mans Series LMP 675 class continues growth; Marshall Cooke Racing to campaign two cars in 2003.
BRASELTON, Ga. (October 18, 2002) -- From its small beginnings in the 2001 season, the LMP 675 class in the American Le Mans Series experienced tremendous growth through the recently-completed 2002 season, with the signs of further growth in 2003 readily apparent.
Britain's Marshall Cooke Racing has announced that it will field a two-car LMP 675 effort in the 2003 American Le Mans Series season, bringing rising young star Ben Devlin of England back for his second full season of ALMS racing. The announcement comes on the heels of confirmation of a two-car LMP 675 team for established American team Dyson Racing on the ALMS in 2003.
The LMP 675 class, established in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2000, and then made a full championship class in the American Le Mans Series in 2001, features Prototype race cars that are smaller, lighter and less-powerful than the top-class LMP 900 machines. The number of participating cars steadily grew through the 2001 season, and the 2002 season featured a competitive field of LMP 675 contenders in each ALMS event.
The LMP 675 competition level in 2002 was intense, with four different teams winning in the 10 ALMS races. Intersport, which fielded a Lola EX257-MG for eventual class champion Jon Field, won three times, as did Team Bucknum Racing with its Pilbeam MP84-Nissan. KnightHawk Racing, which won the team championship in the class, won two races with its Lola-MG, while Archangel Motorsports also won twice with a Lola B2K/40-Millington.
Devlin, the 20-year-old driving sensation, was delighted with his first full season in the ALMS, which included two wins in the Archangel machine and five other podium finishes. He finished second to Field in the driver standings.
"If you'd told me at the beginning of the year we would be challenging for the title, I would not have believed you," said Devlin. "The whole year has been fantastic. I have enjoyed the series so much and the variety and combination of circuits is the best in the world."
Marshall Cooke Racing, which developed the Lola-Millington that Devlin drove for Archangel, is satisfied with its results in 2002 but hungry for more with a two-car effort in 2002. "This year has been a great success," said James Cooke, who is partners with Dennis Marshall in Marshall Cooke Racing. "The engine has proved itself and justified the whole development program. We set out to prove with the right engine the Lola B2K/40 could run competitively in the world's leading sports car championship. Our expectations have been exceeded."
The 2003 American Le Mans Series season begins with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway on March 15.