VICI Racing has named its driver line-up for the Sebring Twelve Hours with an impressive list of names set to pilot its two Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs in the opening round of the new American Le Mans Series season.
Marc Basseng, Richard Westbrook and Lance David Arnold will share driving duties in the #5 car, while the #18 will see VICI regular Nicky Pastorelli joined by Hans-Joachim Stuck and Johannes Stuck.
Former Porsche factory runner Westbrook and double Le Mans winner Stuck Sr are the big names addition to the team as it heads into its second season in the ALMS and team technical director Roland Wall was confident that the line-up assembled would prove to be capable of fighting for victory in the highly-competitive GT2 class.
“We have worked hard to get the right driver line-up this year, and blend youth and experience with a real hunger to win,” he said. “We wanted to get the right line-up without any compromises and so I'm pleased it's come together. I am sure that these guys will give 110 per cent on ever lap and that's what I want from them.
“Nicky and Marc are proven quantities. Both did an excellent job last year and Nicky will be starting his third season with us, I'm confident they will develop further and driver the team on. All the other new drivers we have tested over the winter at Sebring so they have got in some experience of the RSR at Sebring, and they all proved quick straight off and able to adapt to what is a unique and tricky track. Richard is a great addition to the team, he's fast, a winner and very experienced with the RSR. I know him well from the [Porsche Carrera] Cup in Germany and he is always a tough competitor. When he became available for this year he rang me and it was no-brainer to get him in the car. He will slot straight in.
“I know Hans-Joachim Stuck from Volkswagen Motorsport, when we were developing the brand new Scirocco into a race car, for VLN/24h Nürburgring, which they did win. Hans Joachim was driving one of the Scirocco's in the 24h with Carlos Sainz and Giniel de Villiers and Dieter Depping. He was very fast, very smooth and as committed as he ever is. Hans-Joachim will bring a huge level of experience to the team and with his success record at Sebring he will be invaluable to the team, it is great for us to be able to get him into the team.
“I know Johannes as he raced a RSR in the same 24h race, with Marc, and I helped them to solve a setup problem because Hans Joachim asked me to help them. Johannes impressed me; he's young, very quick and committed and dedicated to succeeding so I think he will be a great asset. He will follow in his father's footsteps for sure. The same weekend I was engineering a Porsche GT3 Cup S in ADAC GT Masters, Frank Stippler and Lance David Arnold were my drivers, and we celebrated the first ever Porsche Win in GT Masters. Lance is another quick youngster, he built a good reputation in the Carrera Cup and he will be just right for ALMS.
“I'm very happy with the team, [Crew Chief] Alex [Zaric] is a strong leader and we have an excellent crew. We now have to build on last year, we have the ingredients to do the job this year and the pressure is on us now.”