mercredi 18 mai 2016
Team AAI competing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the second consecutive time
With the latest rounds of the World Endurance Championship at Spa and the European Le Mans Series at Imola just finished and looking forward to the Le Mans test on June 5th, the world’s top endurance race teams are now preparing for the upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans. Among these teams is Team AAI of Taiwan, for the second consecutive time competing in the world’s most legendary sportscar competition. This time around the Taiwan-based team are entered in the LM GTE Am category with an ex-factory Corvette C7.R – the very chassis that won the LM GTE class last year.
At the wheel of the illustrious American GT for 2016 Team AAI call on the driving services of South African-born, American endurance specialist Mark Patterson, rising British star Oliver Bryant (making his Le Mans debut after taking class podiums at Spa 24 Hours in 2014 and 2015) and – last but not least – Corvette endurance legend Johnny O’Connell from the USA, three times winner of LM GTE category with Corvette (2001, 2002, 2009) with a total of nine Le Mans podium finishes to his credit (eight with Corvette), including Le Mans class victory in the IMSA GTS category with Nissan (1994).
Following their Le Mans debut in 2015 and a busy season in the 2015/2016 Asian Le Mans Series, Team AAI plan to once again hold the Taiwanese honour high at Le Mans.
The 84th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be held on the 18th and 19th June. Sited in the middle of France, the race annually attracts almost 300,000 spectators and draws on millions of fans from around the world. Famed not only in Europe, but also across Asia, the Middle-East and the Americas, becoming part of the Le Mans legend is a dream for all sportscar competitors; last year saw Team AAI become the first Taiwan based team to compete. With their two Porsche 911’s, the team not only experienced the legend of Le Mans, but also reached the finish with both cars (in 6th and 8th places). Jun-San Chen (who also drove at Le Mans in 2015) is the man heading up the team.
Jun-San Chen (Team Principal TEAM AAI) announced today:
“It is a great honour to have been invited by the ACO and the selection committee to compete for the second consecutive time in their world renowned competition. We are delighted to once again be at the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and, after our first experience, we have done everything in our power to perform even better.
We are doing this in close collaboration with the Belgian ProSpeed Competition, who will once again be providing the technical and logistical support. On top of that we are working with a drivers’ trio for whom we definitely have great podium ambitions in the LM GTE Am category. Mark Patterson, Oliver Bryant and Johnny O’Connell offer up the ideal combination of experience and young talent to score well.
Finally, and Johnny O’Connell is no stranger to this marque, we are doing it with the chassis that won the LME GTE last year at Le Mans, namely a Corvette C7.R. Michelin will be our tyre partner, not least because of their vast experience with Corvette.”
TEAM AAI history – and their Le Mans sponsors 2016
Team AAI saw the light of day in 1991 and now boasts 25 years of experience in both national and international motorsport. In addition to their second participation at the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2016, the team is also a regular, multi-car entrant in the Asian Le Mans Series since its inception, a series bringing the philosophy of the 24 Hours of Le Mans to Asia. Season upon season, the series is growing and in the future the team plans to remain an important player. In 2015/2016 Team AAI appeared in the AsLMS in both the LMP3 and GT classes.
Jun-San Chen also announced Team AAI’s 2016 Le Mans sponsorship partners:
“Team AAI will again be working together with our partner Buddyclub (motor sports equipment) – also present as a sponsor last year. We are equally pleased and grateful that joining this great adventure for 2016 will be Asset Advantage financial management, Jazz at Lincoln Center and Duncan Taylor Artisanal.”
Team AAI Press Release