The Tracsport team has had an amazing year, jumping from Caterham racing into the thick of the action in the Le Mans Endurance Series.

In a new series of regular columns here on Crash.net, members of the team will give exclusive views from behind the scenes on life competing in the championship and the road to Le Mans.

First up is John Ingram as Tracsport Talkback...

Well what an unbelievable season it's been for the Tracsport squad. From Sweden to Le Mans in the space of 6 months. The excitement of being involved with Tracsport and our unbeatably enthusiastic crew this year, whilst making so much good progress in the LMP2 category, has made it a great year for me.

The 2004 sportscar season only began in earnest for the Tracsport team at Monza in May when the (some would say over-optimistic) decision was made that the team would definitely be on the LMP2 grid by N?rburgring in July. The electrifying all-new-for-2004 LMES championship was the obvious route for the team and something that we were all very excited about getting involved with. Since founding the race team three years ago, the Tracsport management has been working towards ultimately establishing the British team as respected competitors in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the LMES was an obvious step towards achieving that goal. The LMES championship is arguably now the world pinnacle of endurance sportscar racing and Tracsport Team Manager, Dudley Wood, himself a Le Mans veteran, brings to the team a wealth of endurance race experience stretching back to 1978 and the classic 1000km races of the 1980s.

After much research both during and after Monza into what would be the most competitive, whilst economically viable, chassis and engine combination available to us under the new ACO regulations for the P2 category, we sourced a package from Sweden and struck the deal to buy the Lola B2K/40 from Dudley's 1988 Le-Mans opponent, Stanley Dickens.

From both a team and driver perspective, committing to the Lola B2K/40 felt like a brave step for Tracsport. We knew that we were plunging ourselves in at the deep end against the all new LMP2 cars run by established teams such as Courage, Belmondo and against the imminent release of the all-new Lucchini and Lola -all wielding budgets and equipment that we would have to work very hard to beat.

Although the B2K/40 is an SR2/LMP675 car and not a thoroughbred LMP2, the B2K/40, first introduced in 2000, had an excellent pedigree as one of the most succesful SR2/LMP675 cars with class victories at Le Mans and in the Daytona 24 hours. The car itself had an excellent history and had already won the FIA Sportscar Championship's SR2 category at its first attempt in 2001. The 3.0 V6 AER Nissan engine made an excellent combination with the B2K/40, both in terms of its reliability for the 1000km races and also with its ability to run 75-minute stints between fuel stops. Whilst the engine is less powerful, it is considerably lighter and more fuel-efficient than some of its 3.4 litre counterparts.

After transporting the car from Sweden, we first shook down at Silverstone on 4 June, and the magnitude of the world-class challenge ahead first really dawned upon us all. Driving the Lola was always a pleasure, but to draw out the car's true ability requires real commitment from the driver. At a high-speed circuit like Silverstone, you can really feel the downforce and chassis working well, at the high-speed corners and through Bridge. The 450bhp AER gives endless power and the sequential Hewland box delivers fantastic performance.

Tracsport's all-British driver line up of myself, John Gaw and Rick Pearson was a very promising combination and whilst we were certainly a very strong driver trio, the move into the LMES saw all three of us stepping into the unknown territory of endurance sportscar racing.

So after two month's of careful planning, hard work and performing miracles, we were all set for our assault on the LMP2 category at N?rburgring...with no time to spare.

Arriving at N?rburgring with Rick Pearson the night before first testing, we both felt apprehensive but remained focused, as we knew that we had hard work ahead of us if we were to be competitive.

The season for Tracsport since our entry to the grid at N?rburgring has been extremely succesful and, being realistic from the outset, we really couldn't have hoped to achieve much more at this stage in the team's development. With our three very strong finishes of an unbelievable podium at the N?rburgring, then a fifth at Silverstone (after narrowly missing out on another podium) and fourth at Spa, we secured third overall in the final LMP2 championship standings. To finish the season ahead of established teams with new-spec LMP2 chassis, such as the likes of Paul Belmondo Racing with their Courage, has been a fantastic achievement for us all in our maiden season.

We have now secured a buyer for the Lola and we are now working towards securing the funding to progress into a brand new LMP2 car to take us into 2005 and onwards.

It's now no longer a secret that we are in late stage negotiations with Yves Courage and the crack Courage Competition squad regarding our acquisition of a new C65 to launch Tracsport's attack on the 2005 season. I have already tested the Courage C65 at an exclusive test with Courage Competition on the Le Mans Bugatti circuit a couple of weeks ago. It really would not be an exaggeration to say that the experience of driving the Courage C65, particularly at Le Mans, was truly awe-inspiring. We are hoping to repeat the test on Thursday (21st October) when John Gaw will also be driving the C65.

It is our ambition for next season to be back in the LMES and to hopefully be at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Tracsport passionately wants to be the team that the many thousands of dedicated British sportscar fans can be proud of in the P2 category for 2005 and beyond.

C'mon you Brits. Rock on 2005.