The South of France plays host to the first race of the 2011 Le Mans Series this weekend, and it marks Adam Christodoulou’s return to the European race scene.
The 21 year-old is no stranger to sportscar racing after a season in Grand Am and some guest appearances in the GT Open last year. This year he will be competing in the five 1000km races with CRS Racing; the team with whom he won the 2008 British Formula Renault title.
Joining him in the CRS hot seat are two other experienced drivers. Klaas Hummel has been with CRS since 2009 and has completed seasons in FIA GT3 and International GT Open in the team’s Ferrari 430. Phil Quaife also competed for CRS in FIA GT3 in 2009 and last year stepped up to the Le Mans Series, so of the three team mates, he has the most experience of what lies ahead.
Christodoulou is looking forward to getting the season started and is aiming for the podium: “It’s going to be interesting to see how we compare to the others in our class. The test all looked promising for us but you can never tell until you go into a race situation. I’m hoping we will have some consistent weather conditions so we can really work to get the maximum out of the car. It will be good to get the season started and I hope we can go out there and bag our first podium.”
Quaife is very optimistic about the weekend ahead at Ricard, as he explains: “The car was good at the test and we had good pace on old rubber. Our new tyre run was spoiled by rain so we don’t know exactly where we, are but I feel confident that we’ll be up there. The team’s good and the car’s good so I have every reason to be optimistic. It will be good to race with my new team-mates. I spoke to Klaas the other day and he’s fully up for it. I hope it stays dry so we can finish off the set up work we started at the test and I hope we will be up on the podium steps by the end of Sunday.”
“I don’t see any reason why we can’t get some good results in the new LM GTE-Am class,” commented CRS Team Principal, Andrew Kirkaldy. “Klaas has come a very long way since 2009. He has learned a lot from his team-mates and I think this will be his best season yet. Phil did a great job in the Le Mans Series last year and really developed as a sportscar driver. Adam is a natural racer with a few championships under his belt and I have every confidence that he will have a great season.”
The full race will be shown live on Motors TV on Sunday, with coverage starting at 1045hrs in the UK. If you would like to check out the qualifying times on Saturday lunchtime, live timing is available at www.lemans.series.com.
After a two year spell racing in the USA, British driver Adam Christodoulou returns to the UK to compete in the 2011 Le Mans Series. This time he will find himself behind the wheel of a Ferrari 430, and rejoining his former team CRS Racing, with whom he won the Formula Renault UK Championship in 2008.
The No. 82 CRS Ferrari 430 will compete in the LM GTE Am class, and Christodoulou will be partnered by Klaas Hummel and Phil Quaife. The all-new LM GTE Am class provides a great opportunity for his team to enter into what is arguably the best sportscar series in the world.
Adam Christodoulou won the Formula Renault UK Championship with CRS in 2008 and returned to the team briefly in 2010 to compete in two GT Open events. After getting a taster for the Ferrari 430 last year he is eager to get stuck in again when the season kicks off at Paul Ricard.
“This is a great opportunity for me,” said Christodoulou. “I’m with a team that I know well, driving a car that they know well. I think we have a strong line-up and every chance of taking some good results this year, especially as anything can happen in those long races. To be racing in the Le Mans Series will be a great challenge too, competing against some of the world’s top drivers. I’m looking forward to getting back in the car next month to start testing.”
Team mate Klaas Hummel is a non-professional racer who has worked his way up through the SLR Trophy, FIA GT3 and most recently the International GT Open. He is more than ready for the challenges of the Le Mans Series and he has two good team mates to back him up.
Alongside Christodoulou and Hummel, Phil Quaife completes the lineup. He has already done a season in the Le Mans Series with CRS Racing, and the young Briton made rapid progress last year, ready for a full on assault in 2011.
“We’re very pleased to be in a position to continue racing in the Le Mans Series,” said CRS Managing Director, Mark Busfield. “We enjoyed our LMS racing last year so it’s great to be able to run a car to complement our programme in the new Intercontinental Le Mans Cup. We’re all very happy that Klaas Hummel and Phil Quaife are embarking on their third seasons with CRS, while Adam Christodoulou has won a championship with us, been away and then come back for more!”