Orbit Racing, in partnership with BAM! (British American Motorsport), will have an exceptionally strong driver lineup for the 2004 24 Heures du Mans. Leo Hindery of New York will be joined by Porsche factory drivers Marc Lieb of Leipzig, Germany...
Orbit Racing, in partnership with BAM! (British American Motorsport), will have an exceptionally strong driver lineup for the 2004 24 Heures du Mans. Leo Hindery of New York will be joined by Porsche factory drivers Marc Lieb of Leipzig, Germany and Mike Rockenfeller of Neuwied, Germany in the No. 87 YES Network Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. Hindery, Lieb and Peter Baron co-drove to a second-place GT finish at Le Mans in 2003. Hindery, Rockenfeller and Baron recently finished fifth in the 2004 12 Hours of Sebring.
Hindery has two previous starts at Le Mans, in 2002 and 2003, Lieb has one (2003) and Rockenfeller will drive the 13.65-km track for the first time this year. The three will travel to Le Mans, France to participate in a preliminary track test on April 25. The 24-hour race is scheduled for June 12 and 13.
"It is an honor and a privilege for me to return to Le Mans and the greatest sports car race in the world, where Marc Lieb and I had such great success last year," Hindery said. "With Mike Rockenfeller joining us, we are all three committed to another strong finish, hopefully another podium."
Lieb is gunning for victory.
"Last year, it was important for me to get to know the track, to get to know the race and to just do it for the first time," he explained. "This year, we definitely need to go for the win. Last year, we had a very conservative car, easy to drive for 24 hours, but this year we're trying to have an aggressive car, a faster car. We'll make some changes to the setup of the car and it should be good."
Rockenfeller was surprised by his Le Mans invitation.
"It's definitely the highlight of the year 2004 and my career," he said. "I can't describe it. It's a dream to drive at Le Mans. I didn't expect that I would drive this year; I'm 20 years old. It's a great, great chance, and we will be strong. It's not like you're driving at Le Mans but you know you can't win; we are fighting for the victory. I still can't believe it! It's really, really cool."
Peter Baron of Deerfield Beach, Fla. drove the YES Network Porsche at Le Mans in 2002 and 2003. He will step out of the car this year to allow more time for his duties as team co-owner and business director for BAM!
"You don't pass up the opportunity to have two Porsche factory drivers in your car," he said. "It was an easy decision to make, given all my responsibilities as co-owner of a new team. Also, Marc and Mike are like my brothers, so I am thrilled to present them with an opportunity to win Le Mans."
Lieb and Rockenfeller raced against each other in as members of the UPS Porsche Junior Team. Lieb won the 2002 German Carrera Cup championship, then moved on to compete in the American Le Mans Series and the FIA GT Championship. Rockenfeller is starting his third and final season on the junior team.
"We've never raced in the same car, just as teammates against each other," Lieb noted. "I've known Mike for a long time and I'm very happy to run with him. We have a good relationship off the track, so it's going to be a lot of fun with him and the whole crew."
Rockenfeller will tune up for the Le Mans test with his first Carrera Cup race of the season in Hockenheim, Germany on April 18. He finished a close second in the 2003 series and started 2004 with the quickest time in pre-season testing.
"Right now, I have to concentrate and focus on the Cup season because we have our first race in two weeks. It's my last year and I want to win the championship," he said. "After we have the pre-test at Le Mans, I'll know the track. The most important thing is to get used to the track; everything else is like always. I know the car and I've driven a 24-hour race. We had our first Cup test after six months and it went really, really well. Now I feel good, everything is going well and I'm relaxed, so it should be good for Le Mans."