Friday
Apr272007

TEAM NEWS: Intersport Racing Keeps Podium Streak Alive With Third Place Finish At Houston

Photo by John Thawley Detroit — As tire and chassis development continue on the #37 Intersport Racing Very Berry Exotics Judd Powered Creation LMP2 car, drivers Clint and Jon Field are determined to keep the team’s podium streak alive. Running as high as second place in class, the #37 car almost missed its mark when a faulty alternator shortened the team’s night.

Intersport Racing and the American Le Mans Series were in Houston, Texas for their fourth stop of the 2007 season and their third consecutive street course race. The Lone Star Grand Prix calls Reliant Park its home. The temporary course is tight and the surface is rough.

“This was as tough as it gets,” expressed team owner and driver, Clint Field. “I did a double stint out there and I can tell you.. it’s rough. But the car was quite good and the new compound Kumho brought worked very well. We felt we actually got better at Long Beach and these tires were an improvement on that. We really have to hand it to the guys at Kumho. We threw this LMP1 program at them the last minute before Sebring and they’ve really stepped up to the challenge.”

Clint ran the first stint trouble free, pitting at 51 minutes running. He took on fuel and tires and was on his way. Then just 25 minutes later he returned to pit lane with a collapsed tire. The crew quickly serviced the car with a four tire change and with no driver change, Clint was back underway. With 68 laps complete, Clint had the #37 car running 2nd place in LMP1 behind Dindo Capello in the #1 Audi R10.

At about 7:25PM Clint pulled into the pits with a problem. With the deck lid off, the crew went to work. Six minutes later, Clint relinquished the seat to his teammate Jon and with four tires and a full load of fuel the #37 car rejoined the field. Jon completed one lap and returned to the pits with an alternator problem.

“The car just didn’t feel right,” noted Clint. “As it turns out, the alternator wasn’t working.”

At 7:40 PM, under and extended full course yellow, Jon Field pulled into the pits one more time with continuing problems. He would not rejoin the race.

The Grand Prix of Houston ended a streak that saw a 12-hour race (Sebring) and three street races in six short weeks.

“Sebring is notoriously tough on equipment, and it’s difficult to get through street races without damage because there’s little room to make mistakes,” said Rudy Consolacion, motorsports manager for Kumho Tire U.S.A. “Fortunately, our teams survived the street circuits without any damage, and we’re all looking forward for a chance to rest, test and prepare for the upcoming road courses.”

“Intersport has essentially been testing in public with their new car,” noted Consolacion. “The team will do some extensive testing at in May, where they’ll work on different setups and try out some new Kumhos with varying compounds and constructions. We’re confident this first test outside of a race weekend will give us a chance to help the team be more competitive at Salt Lake.”

The Lone Star Grand Prix will air tape delayed on CBS Sports at 1 p.m. EDT on Sunday, April 29.

The next round of the American Le Mans Series is the Utah Grand Prix, set for 5:05 p.m. CT on Saturday, May 19 from Miller Motorsports Park. CBS Sports will air the race at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 20. MotorsTV in Europe, SPEED Latin America and 7TV in Russia also will provide international coverage. American Le Mans Radio and IMSA's Live Timing and Scoring will be available at americanlemans.com.

Learn more about Intersport Racing at www.intersportracing.com

The American Le Mans Series features 12 races in 2007, including the prestigious season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring (March 17) and the 1,000-mile/10-hour Petit Le Mans. All other races are sprint endurance formats, ranging from an hour, 40 minutes at Long Beach to four hours at both Road America and the Series finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. All events are televised by CBS, NBC or SPEED.

Very Berry Exotics specializes in buying and selling some of the world's more exotics and hard to find automobiles. Not only do they sell cars already in the inventory, Very Berry Exotics will search for automobiles that are their customer's dream cars. Company owner Richard Berry founded Very Berry Exotics in 2004 and is himself a racer.

Established in 1960, Kumho Tire Co., Inc., of Seoul, South Korea, had 2005 sales of $2.2 billion. Kumho manufactures and distributes a complete line of tires for passenger cars, light trucks and heavy-duty trucks. Kumho has manufacturing facilities in Korea and China and operates technical centers in Birmingham, England, and Akron, Ohio. Founded in 1975 and headquartered in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, Kumho Tire U.S.A is the U.S. distribution arm of Kumho Tire Co. In addition to its 830,000 square foot headquarters and central distribution facility in Rancho Cucamonga, the company operates four additional distribution facilities in Atlanta, Chicago, Columbus and Dallas. For more information, visit the Kumho Web site at www.kumhotire.com.

Based in Chicago, Klein Tools is a family-owned and operated company which has been in business since 1857, designing, developing, producing and marketing worldwide quality tools and protective equipment to meet the demanding needs of trade professionals who earn a living with their tools. The company, which initially grew as the premier plier manufacturer for the telecommunications and electrical industries, offers hand tools used in construction, electronics, mining, electrical, communications, aviation, security, audio/video and other fields.

Klein Tools, which employs approximately 1,000 people nationwide, began its motorsports association to support the marketing efforts of the company and its distributorships in key markets. Klein Tools’ motorsports sponsorship has also led to the development of products specifically designed for the motor racing industry including spark plug pliers and protective wheel gun covers now used by sports car and open wheel racing teams.

The American Le Mans Series is the premium brand of motorsport in North America, featuring high-tech sports cars from the most prestigious automobile manufacturers in the world. Its unique four classes of competition showcase exotic, open-top prototypes and sophisticated production-based GT cars, all competing on the track at the same time. The American Le Mans Series competes at the premier road racing tracks across North America and at selected temporary street circuits in major urban markets. With a 2007 television package that includes five network broadcasts on CBS and NBC and seven telecasts on SPEED, plus live broadcasts across Europe, the Series delivers a global marketing platform that is unmatched in motorsports. The Series, founded in 1999 by Georgia entrepreneur Don Panoz, represents a mirror image to the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world’s most famous and authentic automobile race. The American Le Mans Series features elite marques such as Audi, Porsche, Corvette, Aston Martin, Ferrari and Panoz, and premium brands such as Michelin, Yokohama, Kumho, Lowe’s, Shell and many others.

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