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AIM Autosport Returns, Fields Ferrari for Sweedler, Bell

Bill Sweedler, Townsend Bell move to AIM Autosport for remainder of season…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

Level 5 Motorsports’ withdrawal from the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship has resulted in a former GRAND-AM championship-winning team returning to action.

Sportscar365 has learned that AIM Autosport will field a Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 for drivers Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell for the remainder of the TUDOR Championship season, beginning with next weekend’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.

Both Sweedler and Bell were part of Level 5’s GTD class-winning effort at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January. The team, however, pulled its two-car entry late last month, leaving the longtime co-drivers, who were signed for the full 11-round season, without a ride.

Sweedler, Bell and a to-be-determined third driver will pilot the No. 555 Ferrari at Sebring, the same car which Level 5 ran at Daytona, but under the operation of the Ontario-based AIM squad. It will run in the same black and silver livery used at the season-opener.

The Ian Willis-run team was forced on the sidelines for the start of the season after failing to find sufficient funding for its own Ferrari program, which won the 2012 Rolex Sports Car Series championship with Jeff Segal and Emil Assentato.

Willis, in turn, went to work for Level 5 at Daytona and was the race-winning engineer for the No. 555 car of Sweedler, Bell, Segal, Alessandro Pier Guidi and Scott Tucker.

Both Sweedler and Bell head into the second round of the championship as points leaders, although the AIM team is not expected to inherit the team points collected by Level 5 at Daytona.

It’s understood the transfer process between the two entries is being finalized by IMSA, with an official announcement from the team due tomorrow.

Sixty-six cars are now expected for the race, which doubles as the second round of the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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