The first European entry to join the American Le Mans Series Le Mans Prototype Challenge (LMPC) field will make its debut at the 61st annual Sebring 12 Hours endurance classic on 13-16 March. The car will be run under the banner of DragonSpeed Mishumotors, a joint effort by German fashion entrepreneur Mirco Schultis and Elton Julians Florida-based team.
Schultis own team dominated the Formula Le Mans (as LMPC is known in Europe) category in the 2011 Le Mans Series, taking the title with four wins from five races. In 2012, Schultis moved up to LMP2 for the new FIA World Endurance Championship, where he competed on track with Julian. For 2013, Schultis decided to embark on an adventure to experience legendary North American circuits such as Sebring, Laguna Seca, Elkhart Lake, and Mosport in a program of selected ALMS rounds. He will be joined at the wheel by 2011 teammate Patrick Simon and WEC LMP2 standout Pierre Kaffer.
Im really excited to bring my fabulous LMPC machine with its big Chevy engine back home to Americas greatest sportscar race, said Schultis. Im looking forward to the high level of LMPC competition in the ALMS, and driving some famous old-style circuits with great character. Im confident that working with Elton and DragonSpeed we can fight for podium results.
Sebring will be a dream come true for me, Simon said. After winning the 2011 LMS title in the class, it is fantastic to be back in LMPC. Im sure we will have fun competing with our all-German driver lineup and joining forces with DragonSpeed. I only hope smoking is allowed behind the pits!
Im delighted to be part of the new DragonSpeed Mishumotors program, said Kaffer. Ive known Mirco and Patrick for a long time and finally I have the chance to drive with them. It will be my first time in a LMPC car and Im excited to return to my favorite track in Sebring I cant wait to roll out of the pits!
DragonSpeed team principal Elton Julian said, Its a pleasure to welcome these guys to the ALMS. Pierre is no stranger to racing in the US and I know that Mirco and Patrick will really enjoy it here. Im especially enthused about this program since I know what these drivers can do, having battled with them in the LMS and WEC. Ill be applying all the lessons I learned from winning six ALMS LMPC races myself to putting them in a position to win every time out.
Schultis car is already on its way to Florida, but wont make the ALMS Winter Test at Sebring next week due to DragonSpeeds participation in the Bathurst 12 Hour enduro with its Audi R8 LMS ultra GT3. A second LMPC chassis may be brought over after Sebring in response to interest from several drivers.