Kumho To LMP1 In 2007?
Perhaps in our Sebring preview material we’ve been a little
remiss in failing to point out that the two-time reigning LMP2 race
winners in the 12 Hours are Miracle Motorsports.
2004, that was with an entry from “American Spirit Racing
Inc” - a Lola B2K/40 Nissan - which John Macaluso, Ian James
and Mike Borkowski took to the class victory, admittedly in a race
Last year, Ian
James, Jeff Bucknum and Chris McMurry were the winners in #10 again,
this time driving the team’s (still current) Courage C65 AER.
This time it’s
Andy Lally, James Gue and John Macaluso scheduled to drive #10,
and although it’s unlikely these three will challenge the
newer cars on pure pace, don’t bet against them bringing the
red Courage, running its Kumho tyres again, home at or near the
front of the class. To finish first, first you… etc etc.
“We should have a good combination of speed
and durability, which is what you need for a fast, bumpy surface
like Sebring,” said Kumho’s motorsport manager Rudy
He admitted that Kumho and John Macaluso thought
long and hard about a move to P1 for 2006, but “we feel as
though we have some unfinished business in P2, especially at Le
Mans,” said Consolacion. “We’re stepping up our
testing and development program this year to see how much more we
can get out of the tire before we make a decision about moving to
P1 next year. Johnny Mac (Macaluso) and the Miracle guys did a great
job for us last year. We’re looking forward to working with
them to extract as much as we can out of the car and the tires this
year and seeing if we can challenge the Penske Porsches and the
Can John Macaluso’s
team make it three out of three – and Kumho two out of two?
We’ll know in less than a week. None of the dsc crew picked
#10 to feature this year, so that must improve its chances.
For 2006 and 2007, KUMHO will have a greater marketing presence
within the series itself. For the ten ALMS races that are broadcast
on CBS this season and next, KUMHO will have an in-car camera on
the Miracle Motorsports car. Additionally, KUMHO commercials will
air during the CBS race broadcasts, and select broadcasts will feature
the “KUMHO Track Description” at the start of the race.
At the track,
the KUMHO brand will be promoted by public address announcements
at each event, commercials on the ALMS radio broadcasts, and logo
placements on all ALMS transporters, trailers and equipment. KUMHO
will sponsor the year-end ALMS Championship Awards Banquet and will
be included in all ALMS promotional materials, such as media guides,
fan guides, etc. And KUMHO will receive tickets to each event to
entertain dealers and customers.