Racer Magazine released an article today announcing that Kieth Wiggins through his HVM Racing team intends to field a prototype entry in the American LeMans Series in 2011. Already having a relationship with Lola that started back in 1997, the team plans on running a Lola chassis with an engine manufacturer that is yet to be announced. Apparently, they are currently in negotiations with an engine producer and are not yet ready to make an announcement regarding their potential partnerships until all the contracts are signed. Good thinking, if you ask me.
no images were found“I have no intention of leaving IndyCars; the U.S. open-wheel scene will always be a passion of mine. It’s just that ALMS is another very attractive program out there, and I think it makes sense for our team not to have all its eggs in one basket. I’ve always been someone who enjoyed technology and, to my mind, racing has always been about development, advancements, being cutting edge and being relevant. The ALMS is a natural fit for that. There’s a lot of manufacturer interest, the cars are technically attractive with new technology, the TV package is strong and I just think the series has a good thing going.” — Kieth Wiggins, owner of HVM Racing in Racer Magazine’s article, HVM to expand to American Le Mans Series in 2011
This furthers the beneficial cross-pollination between the IZOD IndyCar Series and the American LeMans Series that we discussed in an earlier article here at OpenPaddock.net when Highcroft announced their plans to go open-wheel racing part-time in 2011 and full-time in 2012. I, for one, am very happy to see Mr. Wiggins and HVM Racing expand their operations, especially into ALMS. There are some concerns, however, about the teams viability given the financial turbulence they experienced at the end of this year’s IndyCar season. The week before the IndyCar race at Homestead-Miami, the team issued a press release regarding the “misunderstanding” between the team and the landlord of their race shop stating that they were finalizing plans with a new sponsor in support of the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series effort with Simona De Silvestro. Perhaps with their IndyCar situation stabilized, they were able to secure sponsorship for their ALMS program. The next question that arises then is who will they sign to drive the Lola prototype? Any thoughts? There’s a host of young open-wheel talent that will be looking for a ride, and there just aren’t enough open seats in IndyCar. Would this be a good seat for a solid driver such as Charlie Kimball or Martin Plowman?