Sears Point: Prodrive Ferrari preview

Prodrive Ferraris ready to challenge at Sonoma The forthcoming round of the 2003 American Le Mans Series sees the Care Racing-owned Prodrive Ferrari 550s head for the twisty, roller-coaster challenge that is the Infineon (formerly Sears Point)...

Prodrive Ferraris ready to challenge at Sonoma

The forthcoming round of the 2003 American Le Mans Series sees the Care Racing-owned Prodrive Ferrari 550s head for the twisty, roller-coaster challenge that is the Infineon (formerly Sears Point) Raceway in Sonoma, California.

The anticipation of the event and enthusiasm within the Prodrive Ferrari team is heightened by the fact that it is coming to the track straight off the back of a very successful aerodynamic test, assessing new modifications which may well be put to the ultimate test in this weekend's race.

The sweet sound of the 6-litre V12 Ferrari engine, together with the striking, scarlet-liveried looks of the Maranello, has ensured that the car is a firm favourite with the fans at race tracks throughout North America. Two other firm favourites with American Le Mans Series' fans - David Brabham and Jan Magnussen, who formerly drove in the US for Panoz Motorsports - make their debut for the team at Sonoma, supporting the existing race-winning duo of Peter Kox and Tomas Enge.

The Australian/Danish partnership bring valuable track and set up experience to the driver line up, as all of the circuits to be visited over the next month are new to Netherlands-based Kox and the Czech, Enge.

David Brabham (AUS), car 80:
"I'm really excited to be back in the American Le Mans Series and, thanks to Care Racing and Prodrive, driving again with Jan. I'm looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the 550, which looked SO good at Le Mans, and having some great dices with the Corvettes - it will be a lot of fun."

Tomas Enge (CZ), car 88:
"I have never raced at Sonoma. New circuits always represent a new challenge, but I am ready for it. I have raced on more than 50 circuits, so it should not be a problem. I am also looking forward to getting to know my new teammates, and I am sure we will establish a good working relationship as we all have one joint aim which is to beat our biggest rivals. Both David and Jan are experienced drivers and their knowledge will be a welcome asset. We want to make up for the race at Atlanta and close the gap to the top of the Championship classification."

Peter Kox (NL), car 88:
"We've done quite a lot of work on the car since Road Atlanta, testing in England and here in California. Before Le Mans we were focusing on reliability which, touch wood, is currently excellent, but we knew we had to look to some new areas for more speed and balance to further improve the performance of our car. I must say, after these tests, that I am very confident we've found some more time in the car and am looking forward to putting it to the test this weekend."

Jan Magnussen (DK), car 80:
"I'm obviously looking forward to going back to Sonoma as David and I won there last year and I've got good memories of the track. It's an interesting circuit, pretty technical in terms of set up so the track knowledge we can share with Peter and Tomas will help a lot. The track can be very dusty and it's really bumpy so there are a number of places where the car can go 'light'. I obviously yet don't know what it will be like in the Ferrari, but the car looks fantastic when I've seen it on other tracks so I can't wait to see for myself."

The 2h 45 minute race begins at 12 noon (Pacific) on Sunday, 27th July, using the full 2.53-mile "long" course at Infineon Raceway, not the shorter course used by NASCAR in its events at the track. The race will be televised live by NBC Sports (airtime: 4:00 p.m. EDT), and on Eurosport (tape delay, airtime: 20:00 hrs (Central European Time), August 3, 2003).

-pf/fm-

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Tomas Enge , David Brabham , Jan Magnussen , Peter Kox