Genoa Racing, one of the most successful teams in Indy Lights and Atlantic history, has announced that it will
undertake a new challenge in 2010 by entering the American Le Mans Series' brand-new Le Mans Prototype Challenge class.
The move takes the team back to its roots as it previously fielded front-running cars in the Can-Am Series, the precursor to today's American Le Mans Series, some 30 years ago.
Switzerland's Marzio Romano finished second in the Under Two-Litre division in the six-race Budweiser Can-Am Challenge in 1983 in a Genoa Racing Ralt RT2-Hart, while the team recorded class podiums in events at Lime Rock, Road America and Mosport, and class victories in a second race at Mosport and at Trois-Rivieres that year. Romano finished third overall in the latter race, sharing the podium with Jacques Villeneuve and Jim Crawford.
Since then, however, it has enjoyed tremendous success in International F3000, Atlantics, Indy Lights and IndyCars, boasting a championship, 17 victories, 20 poles and a front-row starting position at the 1998 Indianapolis 500 in
conjunction with Thomas Knapp Motorsports from just over 240 starts with drivers including Ivan Capelli, Juan Manuel Fangio Jr, Thiago Medeiros, Jimmy Vasser and Greg Ray.
This season, Genoa fielded as many as three cars in Atlantic events for a combination of drivers including Frederic Vervisch, James Winslow, Jonathan Summerton, Tonis Kasemets, Greg Mansell and Robert Wickens, claiming one victory, six other podium finishes and five additional top fives in twelve events. Summerton, who also ran with Newman Wachs Racing, finished second overall and Vervisch, who ran exclusively with Genoa, finished fourth and won rookie of the year honours.
Team manager and chief engineer Thomas Knapp said the team anticipates taking delivery of its new LMPC car at the
team headquarters in Zionsville, Indiana, in January, which will give it a full month to prepare for the series test in February. Larry Connor is expected to be one of the team's drivers at the two longest races of the season, at Sebring and Road Atlanta.