A Few “Teething” Problems But Nothing major

LAGUNA SECA, Calif., Oct. 15, 2000 – After debuting its new Saleen S7R at today’s GlobalCenter Sports Car Championship Presented by Honda, the Saleen/Allen Speedlab team feel confident that they have successfully benchmarked their racecar against the top competition in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS).

With the Saleen S&R’s inaugural race coming less than two months after the introduction of its sibling, the Saleen S7 road car, there was some apprehension about the racecar’s performance. But in Friday’s first practice session, the Saleen S7R was competitive with the Dodge Vipers and Chevrolet Corvettes that have dominated the first ten rounds of the ALMS season. And in Saturday’s second and final qualifying session, the #55 BASF S7R qualified ahead of a Team Oreca Viper and was less than one second off the pace of the GTS pole-siting Corvette.

With the green flag flying, Tommy Kendall set off after the two Corvette s and two Vipers, passed the #92 Dodge Viper and, at one point, set the third fastest lap in GTS. But the teething problems started at Lap 22 when the transmission became stuck in fifth gear and the team lost eight laps in. the pits.

“We’re really pleased with the S7R’s performance straight out of the box,” commented Steve Saleen. “Less than two months after the birth of the S7 and with only a few days of dry testing in England, we were bound to have a few problems. But the new team of drivers and crew persevered; the ear ran the third fastest lap in class and finished the race. Mission accomplished, as far as we are concerned!”