PLM Entry Update (2)
The entry list for Petit Le Mans now totals 35 cars, with the very welcome addition of a two car LMP2 squad from Marshall Cooke Racing.

The cars, both Lola B2K/40 chassis with two-litre Millington turbo engines, each have three named drivers.

ALMS LMP2 race winners Ben Devlin and Jason Workman will be joined by ex-Team Spencer Lola driver Rich Grupp in the #7 car, while the #13 Lola will feature Andy Lally, Spencer Pumpelly and Ryan Eversley. Lally and Eversley raced one of these cars, under the Race Car Company name, at Mid-Ohio and Lime Rock.

Marshall Cooke Racing, owned by Dennis Marshall and James Cooke, has just moved into the Buford, Georgia, raceshop owned by former ALMS competitor (and Lola entrant) Dennis Spencer, and the PLM programme marks the first step on what could well be a full time return to the ALMS in 2005:

"We intend to contest the 2005 championship," said Cooke. "We need the experience of running two cars because that's what we're going to do next year. Whether we run the last race of 2004 (Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif.) will depend on our results at Petit. But if both cars cross the finish line in good shape, we'll do Laguna, too."

"We're at a disadvantage on outright speed, but endurance racing is not always about speed," said Cooke. "We feel comfortable with the reliability of this car, and the little engine is very robust. It didn't miss a beat in 2002. We tend to not rely on ultimate speed but we usually pull off a good result if we can keep the car running."

Meanwhile the driver squad for the Panoz Motor Sports Esperante GT-LM has been completed with the addition of factory ‘old boy’ Christophe Tinseau.

Tinseau joins Gunnar Jeannette and Marino Franchitti in the factory run GT class car. Tinseau is no stranger to either the marque or the race, having piloted the unique hybrid-powered GTR-1 at the inaugural Petit Le Mans in 1998, following up a race start in the Le Mans 24 hours for the DAMS team earlier the same year in a conventionally powered GTR-1. He had what we believe was his first race of 2004 last weekend – in the T2M Porsche at the Spa 1000 Km.

Finally, for now at least, a third driver has now been added to the Foxhill Motorsports Porsche roster, Charles Espenlaub joning Andrew Davis and Michael Cawley.


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