Lux bolsters 8Star line-up for Sebring
21 February 2014
Eric Lux will join Tom Kimber-Smith and Michael Marsal in 8Star Motorsports' LMPC ranks for the 2014 Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring.
Following its second place in the 2014 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, the 8Star outfit is brimming with as it heads to Sebring International Raceway for the second instalment of the inaugural TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
The team, led by Venezuelan entrepreneur and racing driver Enzo Potolicchio, and its three drivers are taking part in a two-day test at Sebring this week as a precursor to the legendary once-around-the-clock enduro, and will allow Lux, Kimber-Smith and Marsal to bed in its striking ORECA FLM09 LMPC prototype around the 3.74mile airfield circuit.
Lux is regarded as one of the most versatile and skilled young drivers and brings with him a wealth of experience in prototypes, sportscars, stock cars and karting that belies his age. The 25-year old demonstrated his natural aptitude for racing when he achieved two race wins and four podium finishes on his way to the 2011 American Le Mans Series LMPC title and the 'Rookie of the Year' crown, before finishing third in the headlining LMP1 category the following year.
He notably became the first 16-year-old to finish the classic Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona and the youngest winner in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series at the age of 17. But having also scaled the 12 Hours of Sebring winners' rostrum on two previous occasions, Lux is naturally focused on reaching the top step of the podium this time around.
“I'm thrilled to join Enzo, Tom, Mike and the entire 8Star Motorsports team,” he said, “I first met Enzo when we were team-mates in the 2013 Dubai 24 Hours and I quickly realised how passionate he is about motorsport, both as a driver and team CEO. He's one of those people who completely commits to something; it's always all or nothing. The team's second place in the Daytona 24 Hours caught the attention of many and I believe that 8Star will continue to be a championship contender throughout the season.
“I finished third at Sebring in 2012 and 2013 and, while podiums are always welcome, we compete to win. I shared the third place in 2013 with Tom and I have achieved multiple podiums and race wins with Mike so I believe 8Star can go for the victory with this driver line-up.”
Kimber-Smith, meanwhile, is a highly-experienced and successful endurance racer, having achieved wins in the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours, as well as Le Mans Series championship titles. The 29-year old Briton and team-mate Marsal both raced for Potolicchio's squad in the 24 Hours of Daytona in January and, having narrowly missed out on victory, they have big ambitions for Sebring.
“It's great to be going to Sebring, particularly after achieving such a fantastic result in the 24 Hours of Daytona,” Kimber-Smith noted, “Unfortunately, Enzo has decided to step down for the race and focus more on his role as team CEO. Of course, this left a seat open, which will be taken up by Eric Lux. I have driven with Eric on a couple of occasions over the last year and it was actually at Sebring that we achieved our third place in LMP2, so it's great to have him aboard.
"Mike, meanwhile, has come on leaps and bounds over the last couple of seasons and his lack of experience in prototypes no longer shows in his performances. It's a really strong line-up and one that I believe has every chance of standing on the top step of the podium. Of course, our primary focus for now is the Sebring test, where we will be working as hard as ever to improve as a team and hone the car's setup for the race.”
“I've been paired with Eric many times before, most notably in the Dyson LMP1 programme, and I'm currently team-mates with Tom, so I know them both well,” Marsal added:, “I'm looking forward to working with 8Star Motorsports again too, as it's a top-notch outfit that has already demonstrated its competitiveness in the newly-amalgamated TUDOR Championship.
“Based on what we achieved at Daytona, I expect another podium finish to keep the team in the title hunt. While I would love a win in the 12 Hours of Sebring, we have to keep one eye on the ultimate prize and we will achieve that with consistency.”