Kumho moves into top ALMS racing class
Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc. will move up to the LMP1 class with Intersport Racing for the 2007 season of the American Le Mans Series.
Intersport will field a Judd-powered Creation CA06H prototype for all 12 ALMS races, starting at next month's Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. (The Creation is built by Creation Autosport in England and is a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive car with a carbon fiber and aluminum honeycomb monocoque chassis. The Judd GV5 is a five-liter normally aspirated V10 that generates approximately 600 horsepower.)
This will mark Kumho’s first foray into the top class in the ALMS. Kumho and Intersport announced last month their plans to contest the 2007 ALMS season in the LMP2 class.
"We've said for the past few years that we'd like to be in LMP1," says team owner Clint Field. "Kumho has also expressed a desire to get into P1, so this is a good time for us to develop our program.”
Rudy Consolacion, motorsports manager for Kumho, says the company is eager to step up to the top class in the ALMS. “We’ve been in LMP2 for the past two years and have enjoyed success there with class wins and podium finishes. But we want to compete for overall wins. We want to be at the front of the grid and on the top step of the podium.
“In LMP1, we’ll be competing against a car manufacturer and tire manufacturer that have been the class of the field for past five or six years,” says Consolacion. “Everyone who’s involved with Kumho’s motorsports program —- from Korea to Europe to the U.S.-— is eager to see how we stack up against the best.”
"The Creation has excellent mechanical grip,” notes Field, “and during our testing with the LMP2 car we found that the Kumhos also have excellent grip. Looking at the tracks we’ll run on this season, we feel we’ll have an advantage."