Sebring: Prodrive, Olive Garden Ferrari teams preview

SEBRING, Fla. (February 7, 2002) -- Ferraris are returning to action on the American Le Mans Series in a big way in 2002, and the second and third entries received for the 50th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, presented by Dodge, are from...

SEBRING, Fla. (February 7, 2002) -- Ferraris are returning to action on the American Le Mans Series in a big way in 2002, and the second and third entries received for the 50th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, presented by Dodge, are from Ferrari teams.

The United Kingdom-based Prodrive team and Team Olive Garden from Italy have submitted entries for the March 16 event that will kick off the 2002 American Le Mans Series season. Both teams will run Ferrari 550 Maranello cars in the GTS class.

The Prodrive team has been successful in European racing and made its ALMS debut in the 2001 season finale at Road Atlanta. The #77 machine will be driven by Alain Menu of England and Rickard Rydell of Sweden.

Team Olive Garden is returning to racing on the ALMS after a one-season absence. Team owner Gabriele Rafanelli has entered drivers Emanuelle Naspetti and Mimmo Schiattarella, both of Italy, and Johnny Ceccotto of Venezuela in the Sebring race. Naspetti and Schiattarella will be the team's regular drivers in the rest of the races on the ALMS schedule.

Upwards of 50 cars are expected to compete in the 12-hour event at the 3.7-mile Sebring International Raceway, including cars in the Prototype 900 and 675, GTS and GT classes. Rinaldo Capello, Laurent Aiello and the late Michele Alboreto won last year's event in an Audi R8 Prototype. Audi has been the overall winner the past two years.

Sebring International Raceway, built on the site of a former World War II bomber training base, will hold a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 12-hour event. Many of the former winning drivers and cars from past editions of the event will be on hand to take part in the festivities, with the cars on display for most of the week of the event.

Ticket information is available online at www.sebringraceway.com or by calling the raceway ticket office at 1-863-655-1442 (toll-free in Florida 1-800-626-RACE).

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Series ALMS
Drivers Rinaldo Capello , Laurent Aiello , Michele Alboreto , Mimmo Schiattarella , Rickard Rydell , Alain Menu