Team boss Jim McWhirter says he is confident that his new JMW Motorsport team will emerge as the team to beat in the GT2 class of the Le Mans Series this season.

Having owned the car campaigned by Virgo Motorsport in recent seasons, McWhirter has elected to go it alone for 2009 by using the same Ferrari 430 and retaining the services of both Rob Bell and Gianmaria Bruni. Technical director Steve Bunkhall also comes over to continue working on the car, which will be chasing a third straight GT2 title for British ace Bell.

The team has already hit the track for pre-season testing after working with Dunlop during the recent Le Mans Series test session at Paul Ricard, and McWhirter said he was confident for the season ahead.

"After the learning curve of the last three years it is very exciting to be part of the process of the creation of a new team," he said, "albeit with the core strength being the retention of very experienced personnel whom I have worked with over the recent past.

"Dunlop have been crucial in my decision to not only remain in the sport but also to continue in a professional manner with the best tyres, the best drivers and the best engineers and mechanics available.

"We have an absolute belief in our ability to deliver the strongest results and be in the mix at every race whilst acknowledging and respecting the test provided by the strongest opposition we have faced in three years. All in all we shall present a formidable challenge to the opposition both in the LMS and Le Mans."

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