Road Atlanta II: Prodrive Ferrari race report
Care Racing and Prodrive Ferrari on top of the world. The privateer Ferrari 550 Maranellos owned by Care Racing, built and run on Care's behalf by Prodrive, today challenged and beat the might of the Chevrolet Corvettes by finishing 1st and 2nd in ...
Care Racing and Prodrive Ferrari on top of the world.
The privateer Ferrari 550 Maranellos owned by Care Racing, built and run on Care's behalf by Prodrive, today challenged and beat the might of the Chevrolet Corvettes by finishing 1st and 2nd in the GTS category of the 1000 mile Petit Le Mans race, the final round of the American Le Mans Series.
The result means that the team has achieved victory at two of the greatest sportscar endurance events in the world this year - Enge and Kox having won the GTS category at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June.
The third Prodrive Ferrari entry, driven by a team including Care Racing's owner Frederic Dor, struggled with a failing gearbox and a knock by a slower car in the final few laps to bring the car home 4th in class, a valiant effort under difficult circumstances.
Tomas Enge, Peter Kox and Alain Menu, driving car 88, crossed the line in formation with second placed GTS car #80, campaigned by David Brabham, Anthony Davidson and Jan Magnussen. Both cars were nine laps ahead of their nearest rival, but unfortunately the result was just one point short of the required number for the ALMS Manufacturers' Championship which went to Corvette.
The two regular ALMS Prodrive Ferrari entries enjoyed a nose-to-wheel racing throughout, with car 88 just having a slight edge over its sister car for much of the event. Team orders, having been discussed prior to the race, were brought into play after the 8th hour, whereby the second placed car was instructed to hold position. The order the two cars were in at that time was the order in which they finished the race - a similar, but reversed, situation to the last round of the Series in Miami.
For this race, car 88's chassis was the one in which Davidson, Burt and Turner had competed (and failed to finish) at Le Mans. This result therefore means that every chassis produced by Prodrive within the Care Racing stable has achieved race success at the highest level, and all are building a collector's pedigree second to none.
Tomas Enge (CZ), car 88: "The car was so fast through the whole race and we were able to drive without any mistakes. The guys in the pits were brilliant, no mistakes at all, and we were fast all the time so I think we deserve this victory. Last year we were a bit unlucky and this year we have finished the unfinished business - just as we did at Le Mans."
Peter Kox (NL), car 88: "It's a fantastic result. Last year we lost both big races and this year we have won them both. You can't wish for anything more."
Alain Menu (CH), car 88: "I'm very, very pleased, especially after last year when we should have won the race, getting so close. It's my first race in the ALMS this year and I won! It's my first win for a couple of years so I'm very happy, especially with my teammates who drove so well the whole race, and for the whole team."
David Brabham (AUS), car 80: "To finish 1-2 and to have been racing that closely all the time is just a credit to the team. It's also thanks to Michelin who provided us with some new tyres for this race, and great rubber all season. It's great for everyone involved in this team. I've felt very welcome here so a big thanks to everyone."
Jan Magnussen (DK), car 80: "It's an absolutely fantastic result for the team and a great day for all of us. We had to play it safe and finish in 1- 2 - obviously I'd have liked it the other way round but that's how it goes sometimes!"
Anthony Davidson (GB), car 80: "It was really good and I enjoyed it just as much, if not more, than Sebring. It was an excellent result for the team and I really enjoyed it all."
Frederic Dor (F), car 08: "It's fantastic, especially as it's revenge for last year. It also confirms the potential the car showed at Le Mans, and that we have a car which can win races at any distance."
Jan Lammers (NL), car 08: "I'm delighted to have had this experience with the team and I really think we did the best we could. At the beginning stages of the race we were able to help a little bit with the fight with the Corvettes. It was a wonderful experience to see all these guys enjoying what they've been working for all year.
Jerome Policand (F), car 08: "After about ten laps in my second stint I lost the gearbox, with only 5th gear remaining. I managed to maintain some speed but perhaps because I was not going as fast a Porsche hit me and I touched the Armco. I was lucky to finish."
Team Principal, George Howard-Chappell: "It's been a marathon week for a quite simply fantastic team. These are the best guys I've worked with, every team member did a star job and I couldn't be happier."
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