Sebring: Team Ascari preview

Young Guns Line-Up For Team Ascari Sebring International Raceway, Florida& ...

Young Guns Line-Up For Team Ascari

Sebring International Raceway, Florida– 13th March 2002: Team Ascari may be a new name to the American Le Mans Series but the British team are proven race winners in the FIA Sportscar Championship. For the 50th Sebring 12 Hours they have lined up a hugely talented and youthful driver squad with an average age of only 24.

Joining the regular driver line-up for this race are two hard chargers from one of the toughest series in the World, the FIA International F3000 Championship including the 2001 Champion Justin Wilson, a hot tip for Formula 1 World Championship honours in the future.

Wilson will drive the No. 19 Judd V10 powered Ascari KZR1 alongside fellow Briton Ben Collins, a winner for the team last year. Making this an all-British line-up they are joined by Christian Vann, winner last year of the Monza 1000km.

The No. 21 entry will be the International car and is crewed by South African Werner Lupberger, also a winner last year for Ascari, Nevada’s T.J. Bell, a former Formula Atlantic stand-out plus Indy Lights winner and former DAMS Formula 3000 team member Kristian Kolby, a British-based Dane.

For the 2002 season Ascari team principal Klaas Zwart has decided on a season of the Classics– taking in the most prestigious races both sides of the Atlantic. The campaign started with the Daytona 24 Hours, with Lupberger qualifying on the front row– a highly impressive performance– although both cars eventually retired with mechanical troubles. The ‘ Classic Campaign’ moves on from Sebring to Le Mans and will also include the British round of the FIA series at Rockingham and the Petit Le Mans.

Race Director Ian Dawson, whose résumé includes spells managing Formula 1 teams, has high hopes for Sebring. “ We’ve done most of our winter testing here and we know we will be very competitive. I am very pleased with our driver line-up and while it would be a major upset if we mix it with the Audis, I know we will spring some surprises.”

The Ascari KZR1 racing programme is intended to focus attention and build brand awareness for the Ascari marque. Ascari Cars has already constructed prototypes for their road going supercar and recently moved into a new state-of-the-art facility in Banbury, UK, at the centre of Britain's motor racing valley.Le Mans Series including Audi, Cadillac, Riley & Scott and Panoz.

The 12 Hours of Sebring takes place at Sebring International Raceway from 13th-16th March. Qualifying takes place on Thursday 14th, the race commences at 10.30am local-time on Saturday 16th.

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Justin Wilson , T.J. Bell , Werner Lupberger , Ben Collins , Christian Vann , Klaas Zwart , Kristian Kolby
Teams DAMS