And while the Grand Am teams were either basking in the glow of victory or the agony of defeat, the American Le Mans Series kicked off winter testing at the venerable Sebring International Raceway, where several really-really-really big announcements were made.
Not surprisingly, the Audi R10 TDI turbo diesels led the way in testing, although the Peugeot nipped at the Audi’s heels before developing an oil leak, while the Penske Porsche RS Spyders once again led the way for the LMP2 category, as ALMS teams prepare for the 56th running of the 12 Hours of Sebring on March 15th.
De Ferran Motorsports unveils ALMS plansGil de Ferran, the 2003 Indianapolis 500 winner and two time CART/PPG champion has announced the formation of De Ferran Motorsports in order for the Brazilian to re-enter racing. De ferran, the ex-Honda F1 Sporting Director (2005-07) will campaign a factory backed Acura powered ARC chassis in the LMP2 category, beginning later this season, De Ferran will return to the cockpit for the first time in five years as the primary driver. Other drivers will be announced shortly, as De Ferran’s entry will become the fourth Acura raced in Honda’s efforts to dethrone the all conquering Porsche RS Spyders.
Bell Motorsports announces plans
No, it’s not the Bell’s you may be thinking it is, as I first assumed that Derek and Justin Bell had gone into cahoots to form their own race team?
Actually its long time ALMS entrant Jim Bell and new business partner Michael Fux who announced at the Sebring test their new GT1 program, which they’ll contest with an Aston Martin DBR9. The Miami based Bell Motorsports hopes that the Aston Martin DBR9 can give some much needed competition to the Corvettes that have had the GT1 playground all to themselves for awhile now. Definitive driver line-up and plans will be announced shortly.
And speaking of the Corvettes that have reined supreme in the two car factory backed GM playground, more commonly known as GT1. The Corvettes will contest the 2008 season running their Chevy’s on Ethanol E85 derived from stwitchgrass ‘N stuff…