VICI Racing began their preparations for the 2009 American Le Mans Series by giving a run out to three potential drivers in testing at Sebring, including the son of sportscar legend Hans Joachim Stuck.
VICI, which made its debut in ALMS GT2 last season, enter 2009 with the intention of expanding their line-up for the year. This could include a deal to run three Porsche Carrera Cup drivers, Johannes Stuck, Lance David Arnold and Christer Lindholm.
Getting a chance to sample the VICI Porsche at Sebring, all three come to the team having garnered experience driving a 911 this season, even if each has a distinctly different background.
Stuck arrives in the team with impressive pedigree, his father enjoying success in Formula 1, touring cars and sportscars over the years. He enjoyed his chance to test a GT2 car and has now set his sights on racing in the United States.
“It's good to be here and I have enjoyed the two days, this is a very good team, the crew are good and work impressively, and I would like to be in the team to join their push next year. After racing in Cup and VLN it is time for me to get out of Germany and ALMS is where I want to go.”
Lindholm, meanwhile, is a former Superbike racer who has made the transition from two to four wheels. His credits include numerous Swedish and German titles, while he is also a European Superbike Championship runner-up. However, it is Porsches where he concentrated most recently.
Between him and Porsche backed driver Arnold, VICI technical director was impressed with how all three drivers performed.
“I'm pretty satisfied with how the test went, all the drivers were fast and adapted well, though I expected nothing less; particularly as Lance, Christer and Johannes all know Porsches well. Lance and Johannes I expect to be fast straight away as they have raced the RSR, and I know what they can do, and they didn't disappoint me at all.
“Both are very young but drive with lots of maturity and learn quickly, I am quite sure that they can be winners in ALMS and deal with all the new scenarios they will experience here, such as the traffic. Cup racing is a good education. I engineered Lance's car when he took the first win for Porsche in the ADAC GT Masters, and he is a product of the UPS factory junior team in Germany [Porsche Carrera Cup].
“Christer I have known for a long time as he was riding [in the Superbike World Championship] when I was engineering the Hondas. I have also engineered in Swedish [Carrera] Cup and he has been really quick there since going to cars, and that's a tough championship. He has taken a good bike style and adapted well to the Cup. He had a step to make though this week, but I have been very impressed that he settled into very quick times straight away.
“The two days went well, all the drivers were able to get a lot of laps in, and we even got a little unexpected rain testing right at the end. The data was all good; they can all crack ALMS for certain. The team has worked very well; they are a smooth unit and know the incredibly high standards that will be needed to win in ALMS next year. We keep working hard over Christmas and I think we will be in good shape for Sebring [12 Hours]."