Hines Hunting For First GTC Class Victory In Recovery Drive At Petit Le Mans London, UK -- Sunday, September 26, 2010; Leading British GT sportscar racer Luke Hines has his sights set on marking his return to the American Le Mans Series in ...
Hines Hunting For First GTC Class Victory In Recovery Drive At Petit Le Mans
London, UK -- Sunday, September 26, 2010; Leading British GT sportscar racer Luke Hines has his sights set on marking his return to the American Le Mans Series in style with his first GTC class win for Paul Miller Racing, as he heads to the final round - Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.
The sportscar community breathed a sigh of relief when 28 year-old Hines, who hails from Harlow, Essex (UK), emerged unharmed from a massive accident in the penultimate Series round at Mosport, Canada, last month.
While leading the GTC class by 29 seconds, a prototype car hit Hines slamming his Porsche 911 into the safety barrier which was so seriously damaged the race was red flagged after 2 hours 19 minutes.
Now fully recovered, Hines is ready to tackle the final round of the 2010 season -- the 13th annual 1000 mile/10 hour Petit Le Mans event -- and is fully focussed on finishing the season on a high by clinching his first GTC class win.
Since joining Paul Miller Racing for round three at Laguna Seca, Hines has truly impressed not only the team but the entire ALMS grid with consistently strong performances. His efforts, together with teammate Bryce Miller, have delivered a trio of fifth place finishes and two fourth places, at Mid Ohio and Mosport International Raceway.
The race results, however, don't truly reflect the potential of Hines, the son of Grand Prix Racewear boss and multiple World Karting Champion, Martin. The former British GT vice champion first stormed through to take the GTC class lead in only his second race with the team at Salt Lake City and has continued to feature at the front of the GTC field at every round since.
Victory at Petit Le Mans would bring a fitting end to Hines' season, ahead of what he hopes will be a full year competing in the American Le Mans Series next year.
"The Paul Miller Racing team have done a phenomenal job of bouncing back from our huge accident at Mosport," said Hines. "The guys have been working around the clock in preparation for Petit Le Mans and the car is in really good shape.
"Our pace and reliability has been strong all season but we've had our fair share of misfortune. This team just gets stronger and stronger. There is a great energy among the crew despite the fact they have been regularly working through the night to get ready for Road Atlanta. They really deserve a good result and the win we've been hunting all season.
"I've been thrown into the deep end this year and it takes time to gel with a new team, while learning the circuits and the style of driving that best suits the Porsche, but I've enjoyed every minute.
"I love racing in America. The ALMS is the best sportscar Series, leading the way with the quality of drivers and manufacturers. Although I'm keeping my options open, I see my future career here and I am working on coming back to race full time next year.
"Without doubt, Petit Le Mans is one of the biggest races in the ALMS and, being the last on the 2010 calendar, it'll be the one everyone remembers.
"Road Atlanta is actually one of my best circuits. I really enjoy it and I have good memories of finishing fifth with Jon Field in LMP1 here. Having battled in the quickest class at Petit, it's now time for me to contest GTC and it's great to be building my sportscar experience across the spectrum.
"I'm feeling really good and have been working hard after my Mosport crash. We've shown our potential all year by leading every round. We know exactly what we want to achieve in the final round and we're really revved up and ready to deliver the goods to finish this season on a high."
Official qualifying for the 13th annual Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta takes place on Friday, October 1, at 3:15pm (local time). The 2010 season finale -- Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA 2 -- goes green at 11:30am (local time) on Saturday, October 2.
-source: luke hines PR