LE MANS, FRANCE (May 3, 2000) -- The Michael Colucci Racing (MCR) prepared Aspen Knolls Porsche GT3 R looks set to be firmly in the field for this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans, arguably the most prestigious sports car race in the world, following...
LE MANS, FRANCE (May 3, 2000) -- The Michael Colucci Racing (MCR) prepared Aspen Knolls Porsche GT3 R looks set to be firmly in the field for this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans, arguably the most prestigious sports car race in the world, following the open test at the 8.45-mile circuit on Sunday, April 30. Unofficial times observed by the team (there were no official times posted by the organizers) placed the No. 71 Porsche third in the GT category, behind the Dick Barbour and Larbre Competition entries, also Porsches. In fact, Porsches make up the entire GT field. Sunday's test session replaced pre-qualifying held in previous years.
This will be Colucci's second trip to the famed Le Mans event. The Colucci-led team of John Paul, Jr. and Jean Rondeau finished second overall in 1984 driving a Porsche 956.
"We're delighted," said Colucci, of Jupiter, Fla., following the test. "We were pleasantly surprised that the car came off the trailer, onto the track, and was immediately in the hunt. Shane's first hot lap was right there. We just took delivery of this car at the Charlotte (ALMS) race in April. It ran about 50 miles at Moroso Park and then we dragged it over to France for the test. Bob, Cort, and Shane did a great job. The entire team is pretty pumped up."
Bob Mazzuoccola, of Staten Island, N.Y., owns the Aspen Knolls team, and will co-drive with reigning ALMS GT and Porsche Cup champion Cort Wagner, of Los Angeles, and Shane Lewis, of Jupiter, Fla.
"Flawless," observed Lewis. "We had a lot of unknowns - a brand-new car, new Motech data system, new Michelin tires that proved to be incredible - anything could have gone wrong but the day was virtually flawless. Even the weather was perfect, after four days of rain. Our goal was not to set the world on fire with lap times, although we of course wanted to be fast. The objective was to get set for the race. Obviously, there is nowhere else in the world like Le Mans, so all the testing in the world at other tracks doesn't fully prepare you for this incredible circuit. We did what we needed to do, we did it well, and I'd say things look very promising for a good result."
The 24 Hours of Le Mans runs Saturday, June 17 to Sunday, June 18, with flag-to-flag live television coverage provided by Speedvision.