Champion confirms Herbert

As reported earlier this month, sports car star Johnny Herbert will return to ADT Champion Racing to drive a second Audi R8 Prototype. But the team has expanded on its original plans and will run Herbert in the final two events of the American Le Mans Series season

Champion confirms Herbert

The British driver will team up with young German driver Pierre Kaffer for the next round on September 25 in the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta and at the season-ending event at Mazda Raceway Laguna in Monterey, Calif., on October 16.

ADT Champion Racing, owned by Dave Maraj, has taken overall wins in five of the seven ALMS races held this season with drivers JJ Lehto and Marco Werner. Lehto and Werner have already clinched the 2004 ALMS driving title for the top prototype class but the team still wants to wrap up the team title, as well as manufacturer championships for Audi and tyre supplier Michelin.

Herbert will be reuniting with the Florida-based Champion team for which he contested the 2001-2003 seasons of the American Le Mans series. He scored four ALMS race wins for Champion in 2003, including a victory at Road Atlanta in the 1,000-mile Petit Le Mans. He has spent the 2004 season driving for Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx, finishing third in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring that opened the ALMS season and second in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Herbert also won a Le Mans Endurance Series race for Audi UK at Monza, Italy.

"I am really happy to have this opportunity to race in the last two races of the ALMS series with Champion Racing," Herbert said. "I have missed not racing with them this season and it will be good to get back into the team and see everybody again. I have raced against Pierre Kaffer in the LMES championship this year and I know him to be a very good driver. I'm looking forward to having him as my team-mate. This is going to be a great challenge, the Audi R8 has won six of the ALMS races this year and having been given the opportunity to win Petit Le Mans again I intend to do just that. I am also looking forward to finishing the series on a high note at Laguna Seca."

A factory Audi driver, Kaffer was part of the winning team in this year's Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the only ALMS race in which he has competed, along with Allan McNish and Frank Biela. He has also scored two wins this season in the Le Mans Endurance Series in Europe, all driving for Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx.

"I am really looking forward to Petit Le Mans and Laguna Seca," Kaffer said. "Those are great racetracks and most definitely challenging ones too. I am very proud to drive for Champion Racing and I look forward to coming over and joining them soon. I tested an R8 at Road Atlanta earlier this year and found that track to be very much like Nurburging, lots of ups and downs with fast corners. I especially like the first part of the track, Turn 1 and the Esses. You really need a big heart for this track!"

"We look forward to Johnny driving for Champion again," said Maraj. "He was a huge asset during the three years he drove for us. Pierre Kaffer is definitely an up and coming driver who has already proven himself at Le Mans and in the Le Mans Endurance Series. He'll make a perfect addition to our team."

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