Add Another Courage – Sebring & LMES
And Perhaps Le Mans?

”I’m genuinely excited to be driving this kind of car,” says Phil Bennett. “It’s a brand new C65, which is being built now, we’ll be using Judd engines, and we’ve got a very good arrangement with Pirelli.”

The entrant will be Bennett’s VLN BMW entrant, Kruse Motorsport. The first race for the new Courage will be Sebring – where we’re expecting six absolutely top-notch LMP2 cars – to be followed by the full LMES, “plus Le Mans if they accept our entry,” says Bennett. “We understand though that you have to earn the right to race at Le Mans. But with the date change for the final LMES race, that does give us the chance to race at Petit Le Mans and Laguna Seca.”

"I was really impressed with the LMES in 2004," says team boss Kai Kruse, "the quality of the entries was fantastic and the ACO made a really slick job of promoting the series, which we believe will only grow and become even stronger. We are also convinced of the stature and importance of the Sebring fixture and see the event as a significant test of our early season preparation and performance.

"We decided to go the LMP2 route because we are a private team, with huge experience, wanting to race at the front of the field; the Courage C65 with the latest Judd XV motor matches our vision perfectly."

Definitely sharing the car will be Phil Bennett’s VLN partner, Ian Mitchell.

“He’ll be quick enough," says Bennett. "In the 911, Ian is about ten seconds a lap slower than me round the Nurburgring, which is still a very good pace.”

There is currently a vacancy for the right man to join these two.

“This is the best programme for the year that I’ve ever had,” says the popular Bennett. “It’s like all my Christmases come at once. We’ll be fighting for the LMES P2 Championship – but it’s fantastic to be going to Sebring first. It’s like the Le Mans of North America. Kruse has a number of ex-DTM guys on the team, so we’re going to be doing a really professional job with this car.”

The bullet-proof nature of the Miracle Courage at Sebring last week bodes well for this new entry into the class, on its debut appearance.

Team sponsor Varley International Property Sales (VIPS) has announced that a donation from sales of properties sold in the Phuket-based Paradise Bay development will be made to the Tsunami Aid Appeal by developer Siam Sunrise Holdings.


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