International acclaim and competition spurs interest from American Le Mans Series teams.
The ACO recently announced that Silverstone (September), Road Atlanta’s Petit Le Mans (October) and an Asian site (November, venue TBA) will be the three host sites for the Intercontinental Cup. The competition is strictly for LMP1 teams and is geared toward factory entries. But will American Le Mans Series’ fans see Autocon, Drayson Racing or Intersport confirming an entry?
“There is unfortunately no way we can do it as a small privateer team with a volunteer crew. … but if someone would get my car there, I would do the rest. “I have been a racing fan since I was five years old and I would love to go to Silverstone – my family is from there – but the logistics in the short term, being 2010, do not make it possible. “I am certainly aware of the (remarkable) tracks around the world, but it’s a long way to travel.” – Mike Lewis, Driver/Owner
“The Intercontinental Cup is a terrific idea that provides a global stage for world class factory and private sports car teams to compete at the highest level. Drayson Racing’s ‘world tour’ of races in the American Le Mans Series, LMS and Asian Le Mans Series in 2009 gave me a clear sense of the potential for such a global championship. We will compete with our LMP1 Lola Coupe Judd V10 in the ACO’s Intercontinental Cup in 2010. I hope that, in time, this will lead to a full world championship for LMP1 sports cars emphasizing speed, endurance, energy efficiency and technological innovation. In other words, a global motorsport series that is relevant in the 21st century. It is an exciting prospect.” – Paul Drayson, Driver/Owner
“We have been looking forward to the ACO’s announcement about the Intercontinental Cup. The Intercontinental Cup fits perfectly into the strategy of Paul and Elspeth Drayson to take our team and its message to the great venues of the world. We had our own ‘world tour’ last year and got to race at all three of these venues and enjoyed considerable success. With much more P1 experience under our belt entering these races next year, we feel we have a good shot at what I think will become a prestigious championship. To compete in a world championship has always been a personal goal for me and I am looking forward to what the future will hold if the sport returns to a true, international championship for LMP1 cars.” – Dale White, Team Manager
“In these economic times, it’s probably not the best idea for us; however, bearing some sponsorship, we would reconsider. “As we are running in the American Le Mans Series, you will be seeing us at Petit Le Mans – one hundred percent.
“I’m supportive of any kind of racing, but at this moment, it doesn’t fit our business model and our team. It would be worthwhile more for a factory team because they can showcase their car and do some R&D around the world.” – Clint Field, Drivers/Owner