Lally to Compete in Prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans INDIANAPOLIS, June 2 - Andy Lally will join Miracle Motorsports for the 2005 24 Hours of Le Mans. Lally, a Northport, N.Y. native who currently resides in Dacula, Ga., will join teammates...
Lally to Compete in Prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans
INDIANAPOLIS, June 2 - Andy Lally will join Miracle Motorsports for the 2005 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Lally, a Northport, N.Y. native who currently resides in Dacula, Ga., will join teammates John Macaluso and Ian James in their Courage C65 AER turbo LMP2 car for the team's first trip to the 13.6-kilometer open-road course near Sarthe, France.
"I'm thrilled," Lally said. "I am very thankful to John for giving me the chance to race at Le Mans. I had a chance to test the car at Road Atlanta as well as Sebring in the last month, and it is such a pleasure [to drive] and so fun."
Lally has been a star of the American Le Mans Series and the Grand American Rolex Series for many years. Although this is his first trip to Le Mans, he won the 24 Hours of Daytona as well as Grand American's Sports Racing Prototype II championship in 2001.
"It's going to be a tough race," Lally said. "My class is the most competitive than it has ever been.
"We'll treat it like any other endurance race," he added. "There is a ton of preparation needed to be able to do this race right and there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work by the crew that is so important.
"The pressure is then on us to take their baby and keep it safe for 24 hours," he continued. "The cars must be taken care of and driven smart in order to make it to the finish."
What comes to most drivers' minds when they envision Le Mans is the famous Mulsanne Straight, an 8.4-mile stretch that allows drivers to push their machines to their maximum potential.
"It [the Mulsanne Straight] will be pretty wild," Lally said. "It's an event really. I look at it as an accomplishment the first time, putting the pedal down. Then I will put the neat factor behind me and focus on keeping the car in one piece and helping my team do what they need to do to make the car as bullet proof as possible."
Miracle Motorsports will have to be "bullet proof," as it faces 14 other entries in its class.
Lally is confident in his team's abilities and chances. Miracle Motorsports won its class at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 2004 and 2005.
"If we can finish the race, stay out of the pits as much as possible except for fuel, I believe we have a very good chance," Lally said. "The package is good and the drivers are good. As long as the car doesn't break and we keep our heads on our shoulders, we'll do OK."
Courage Competition has had at least one entry on the starting grid at Le Mans since 1992. The chassis finished second there in 1995.
Lally, Macaluso and James will test at Le Mans this Sunday, June 5. Then Lally and James will return home for the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen at Watkins Glen International at Watkins Glen, N.Y. After racing against each other at Watkins Glen June 10-12, they'll catch a late flight back for qualifying at Le Mans on Wednesday, June 15. (Lally will compete in a Porsche at the Glen while James will be in a BMW.)
The 24 Hours of Le Mans will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel starting at 10 a.m. EDT Saturday, June 18.
The Watkins Glen race will be broadcast live on SPEED from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, June 12.
For more information see AndyLally.com, MiracleMotorsports.com and RestartCommunications.com.