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."

shares
comments
Maserati ready for debut

Previous article

Maserati ready for debut

Next article

Mika Salo

Mika Salo
Load comments
The ex-IndyCar racer in "uncharted territory" of British GT team ownership Plus

The ex-IndyCar racer in "uncharted territory" of British GT team ownership

This weekend’s British GT finale will be a tense title showdown for some but, for those not in the championship fight, it’s a chance to end a challenging year on a high. In the latter camp is Paddock Motorsport's team owner Martin Plowman, whose 2021 season has been a rollercoaster ride of non-stop learning

National
Oct 15, 2021
The unpopular BMW stalwart built for the big occasion Plus

The unpopular BMW stalwart built for the big occasion

It has won most of the big prizes in endurance racing across its six years in service, but the BMW M6 GT3's key weaknesses meant only a devoted few teams persisted with running it. As it prepares to bow out at season's end, the teams and drivers involved in its story share the secrets of an unpopular winner

GT
Oct 7, 2021
The unwanted GT car that changed sportscar racing forever Plus

The unwanted GT car that changed sportscar racing forever

Had FIA GT boss Stephane Ratel had his way, the Maserati MC12 would never have been allowed to set foot in his series. It duly proved the class of the field that most had expected, but the Balance of Performance that its superiority spawned would keep GT1 battles tight and bring long-term benefits that sportscar racing enjoys today

GT
Sep 21, 2021
Why Britain's greatest sportscar was eclipsed on the world stage Plus

Why Britain's greatest sportscar was eclipsed on the world stage

The E-Type may be the most famous of all road-going Jaguars, but that didn't always translate into success on the track. After winning on its competition debut in 1961, motorsport success seemed an inevitability, but things didn’t turn out to be quite that straightforward

GT
Aug 6, 2021
Why the Jaguar E-type remains special at 60 Plus

Why the Jaguar E-type remains special at 60

It’s 60 years since the Jaguar E-type arrived and caused a sensation. As our resident racer Ben Anderson discovered when he got behind the wheel of two special racing versions at Brands Hatch, the thrill of driving them hasn't diminished over time

GT
Jul 31, 2021
The rise of a GT squad responsible for a unique 24-hour racing feat Plus

The rise of a GT squad responsible for a unique 24-hour racing feat

It's a significant achievement to win one 24-hour race in a year, let alone two, and with different manufacturers, but that's exactly what ROWE Racing did in 2020 at the Nurburgring and Spa. This weekend's German classic offers the DTM newcomer a chance of another unique double to add to its growing collection of accolades

GT
Jun 3, 2021
The new threat facing motorsport's greatest success story Plus

The new threat facing motorsport's greatest success story

The manufacturers were unconvinced – and even hostile – when Stephane Ratel launched GT3 in 2006. Now, 15 years on from its debut, they’ve sold more than 2000 cars and counting, but its continued expansion puts the increasingly globalised category at risk of losing its roots

GT
May 25, 2021
The Lamborghini teams plotting to stop a RAM raid on British GT Plus

The Lamborghini teams plotting to stop a RAM raid on British GT

With the Silver pairings that dominated 2020 now banned, Mercedes pair Yelmer Buurman and Ian Loggie could be in the box seat after winning last year's Pro-Am crown. But a swarm of Lamborghinis, with the defending outright champion among them, will ensure they face tough opposition

GT
May 21, 2021