2003 Schedule announced

New events in Mexico, Europe highlight 2003 American Le Mans schedule. BRASELTON, Ga. (October 11, 2002) -- New events in Mexico and Europe highlight an expanded schedule of 11 races for the American Le Mans Series for the 2003 season, series ...

New events in Mexico, Europe highlight 2003 American Le Mans schedule.

BRASELTON, Ga. (October 11, 2002) -- New events in Mexico and Europe highlight an expanded schedule of 11 races for the American Le Mans Series for the 2003 season, series officials have announced.

The sports car endurance racing series will hold its first race in Mexico with an event at the 2.75-mile Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City and will return to Europe with an event after a two-year absence. The location of the European round has not yet been determined.

The season will open and close with its two longest events. The 51st annual Mobil1 Twelve Hours of Sebring at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway will open the season on March 15, and the 1,000-mile Audi presents Petit Le Mans will close the year on Oct. 18.

As has been the case since the formation of the series in 1999, the schedule will be built around the 24 Hours of Le Mans, allowing teams the opportunity to compete in the French racing classic. The European round of the series will be held in May, between the traditional preliminary practice session at Le Mans and the mid-June race.

Mexico City, the second-largest metropolitan zone in the world with 16.5 million people, will host the series at a permanent road racing facility located inside the city's Sport Park.

The series, which held 10 races in 2002, will return to many other venues that hosted events in the 2002 season, including Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.; Le Circuit Trois-Rivieres in Trois-Rivieres, Qc., Canada; Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif.; and the Miami Downtown Street Circuit in Miami, Fla.

Events will also be held at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ont., Canada; the RFK Stadium Circuit in Washington, D.C.; and Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis.

The Road America race will be 500 miles in length, while the length of the Mexico City and European races is to be determined. With the exception of the Sebring and Road Atlanta events, all other races will be timed events of two hours and 45 minutes.

All races will be televised in the United States, with at least four on network television. Three will be on NBC Sports and one on CBS, while the remaining six will be on the SPEED Channel. Television coverage for the European round has not been determined.

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