BRASELTON, Ga. (January 21, 2002) -- The American Le Mans Series grid for the 2002 season grew again today with an announcement by Arizona-based Team Bucknum Racing that it would field two cars in the LMP 675 class for the full season. The team,...
BRASELTON, Ga. (January 21, 2002) -- The American Le Mans Series grid for the 2002 season grew again today with an announcement by Arizona-based Team Bucknum Racing that it would field two cars in the LMP 675 class for the full season.
The team, which made its debut in last year's Audi presents Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, will campaign Pilbeam MP84 chassis powered by Nissan engines in the class for smaller, less-powerful Prototype race cars. The team is moving up from the Star Mazda Series, where it won four of the six available championships in the 2000 and 2001 seasons.
"We have competed successfully over the last two years," said Jeff Bucknum, who will co-drive one of the cars. "We wanted to parlay that momentum into a move up onto the world stage and the ALMS can make that happen for us."
Bucknum, from Lake Havasu, Az., will pair with Chris McMurry of Phoenix to create an All-Arizona driving squad for the team's number one car. The second car will be co-driven by Bryn Williams of Kirkland, Wash., and Pierre Ehret of Germany. Ehret will join Bucknum and McMurry as a third driver for longer races.
"We've had the chance to watch ALMS develop over the last two years, since the Star Mazda Series has run as one of its support races," said Bucknum. "It just keeps getting better and better, with world-class drivers and teams, excellent broadcast exposure, the top road racing venues ... the series is flat-out professionally run and sponsors like it."
Last fall, the team purchased a chassis from the Lincolnshire, England-based Pilbeam and tested it at Buttonwillow Raceway in Bakersfield, Calif., before its debut at Road Atlanta in the ALMS season finale.
At Road Atlanta, the #31 Fairytale Brownies-sponsored car captured attention with its "Flying Fairy" on the sidepod as it moved from the back of the field to second in class within the first three hours of the race before its day ended after it tangled with another car.
Team Bucknum Racing will be the first team to use a Pilbeam chassis in a full ALMS season. Team sponsors for 2002 will also include global digital communications company Worldcom.