Today's Drivers To Watch

July 21, 2002|By Alex Koustenis

Prototype 900 class

Tom Kristensen

Hometown: Monte Carlo, Monaco

Team: Audi Sport North America

Career highlights: Started in go-karts in Europe. Won 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1997. Won 1999 and 2000 12 Hours of Sebring. Leads 2002 American Le Mans Series points standings.

Rinaldo Capello

Hometown: Canelli, Italy

Team: Audi Sport North America

Career highlights: Was the Italian Super Touring Car champion in 1996. Won Petit Le Mans and ALMS Sears Point in 2000. Won ALMS Grand Prix of Texas and 12 Hours of Sebring.

Johnny Herbert

Hometown: Monte Carlo, Monaco

Team: Audi Sport North America

Career highlights: Won two Formula One races for the Benetton team in 1995. Drove for the Champion team in 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2001.

Frank Biela

Hometown: Monte Carlo, Monaco

Team: Audi Sport North America

Career highlights: Won the German Touring Car championship in 1998. Won 24 Hours of Le Mans, ALMS Sebring, Dallas and Las Vegas in 2000. Took second place in 12 Hours of Sebring in 2001.

Emanuele Pirro

Hometown: Monte Carlo, Monaco

Team: Audi Sport North America

Career highlights: Has competed since 1973. Won the ADAC-STW Cup in 1996. Was third in 24 Hours of Le Mans and fifth in 12 Hours of Sebring in 1999.

Prototype 675 class

Jon Field

Hometown: Dublin, Ohio

Team: Intersport Racing

Career highlights: Finished eighth in 12 Hours of Sebring in 1997. Placed 21st in 24 Hours of Daytona in 2001. Leads 2002 American Le Mans Series points standings.

Steve Knight

Hometown: Castle Rock, Colo.

Team: KnightHawk Racing

Career highlights: Took third place in the Regional Championship Series in 1996. Won the SCCA regional driving a Porsche 944 in 1998. Finished second in American Cities overall championship points for the S-1600 class.

Ben Devlin

Hometown: Snetterton, England

Team: Archangel Motorsport Services

Career highlights: In 1999, competed in five races in the Vauxhall Junior Series and finished in the top 10 in each race. Finished first in the Road America 500 and second in Le Grand Prix Trois-Rivieres in 2001.

GT class

Sascha Maassen

Hometown: Aachen, Germany

Team: Alex Job Racing

Career highlights: In 2000, finished fourth in 2000 Porsche Supercup. Was third in Sports Racing World Cup in Nurburgring and second in 24 Hours of Le Mans, GT class. Leads 2002 American Le Mans Series points standings.

Lucas Luhr

Hometown: Monte Carlo, Monaco

Team: Alex Job Racing

Career highlights: In 2000, Luhr's first season racing in America, he won four GT class races and finished in the top five eight times. He was the 1999 German Porsche Carrera Cup champion.

Jorg Bergmeister

Hometown: Langenfield, Germany

Team: Alex Job Racing

Career highlights: Bermeister is new to the Le Mans Series this year. In 2001, he won the Porsche Supercup championship.

Timo Bernhard

Hometown: Bruchmuhlbach-Miesau, Germany

Team: Petersen/White Lightning Motorsports

Career highlights: Placed third in the 1999 German Formula Ford championship. Finished 12th in the 1999 German Porsche Carrera Cup point standings. Ranked third in German Porsche Carrera Cup points in 2000.

GTS class

Ron Fellows

Hometown: Mississauga, Ontario

Team: Corvette Racing

Career highlights: In 2001, was the overall winner in GTS Rolex 24 at Daytona. Won ALMS GTS-Class at Grand Prix of Texas in 2000. Won two NASCAR Busch Grand Nationals and two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Has 19 total career SCCA Trans Am wins. He was Player's GM Challenge champion in 1989. Leads 2002 American Le Mans Series standings.

Johnny O'Connell

Hometown: Flowery Branch, Ga.

Team: Corvette Racing

Career highlights: Overall winner at GTS Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2001. Winner at ALMS Mosport in 1999. Winner overall at GTS 1994 Sebring 12 Hours. In 1987, was the Formula Atlantic West Atlantic Champion.

Kelly Collins

Hometown: Corona del Mar, Calif.

Team: Corvette Racing

Career highlights: Placed second in the GTS Superflo 12 Hours of Sebring and GTS Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2001. In 2000, won the GTS class at Petit Le Mans. Winner of the GT class in the 12 Hours of Sebring and GT-3 class in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 1999.

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