American Le Mans Series Crowns 2004 Champions at Monterey Awards Dinner Monterey, CA - Champions were crowned and the wealth of a successful year was spread among many as the American Le Mans Series brought the 2004 season to a close Sunday...
American Le Mans Series Crowns 2004 Champions at Monterey Awards Dinner
Monterey, CA - Champions were crowned and the wealth of a successful year was spread among many as the American Le Mans Series brought the 2004 season to a close Sunday night with its "A Night of Champions" awards dinner.
JJ Lehto and Marco Werner, the champions of the LMP1 class in the ALMS, were honored along with ADT Champion Racing owner Dave Maraj. Also receiving championship awards were Ian James, driving champion of the LMP2 class, and Miracle Motorsports team owner John Macaluso, along with GT class champion Timo Bernhard and class team champion Alex Job Racing owner Alex Job.
Corvette Racing was a big winner during the evening as drivers Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell were honored for their second consecutive GTS driving title. Team owner Gary Pratt was honored for his team's fourth consecutive title, and Chevrolet received the GTS class Manufacturer's title for the fourth consecutive year as well. Doug Duchardt, Director of GM Racing, accepted the award.
In addition, Fellows was the surprised recipient of the Most Popular Driver award, voted on by fans of the series, and Doug Fehan, Corvette Racing Program Manager for General Motors, received the "From the Fans" award, voted by fans to the individual or group making the greatest contribution to sports car racing in the past year.
In addition to ALMS Championship trophies and rings from Scott Atherton, President and CEO of the series, the champion drivers and champion team owners received unique JeanRichard watches from Ronald Jackson, President of JeanRichard.
Michelin was also a big winner, winning the Tire Manufacturer championship in the LMP1 and GT classes for the fifth straight year, and also taking honors in the GTS class. Amanda Head, Motorsports Marketing Manager for Michelin, accepted the awards.
Pirelli Tire won its first ALMS Tire Manufacturer championship in the LMP2 class, and accepting the award was Pirelli North America President Guy Mannino.
Audi received its fifth consecutive LMP1 Manufacturer's Championship, accepted by Audi AG board member Ralph Weyler, while Porsche received its fifth GT class Manufacturer's Championship in six years, accepted by Porsche Motorsports North America President Uwe Brettell.
Lola won its third straight LMP2 chassis manufacturer title, accepted by Lola's Head of Engineering Julian Cooper, and Judd won its first LMP2 class engine championship. James was named Rookie of the Year in the professional sports car racing series.
Drivers James Weaver (LMP1), Clint Field (LMP2), Romain Dumas (GT) and Oliver Beretta and Oliver Gavin (GTS) received special awards from New Century Mortgage for winning the most New Century FastQual Awards (poles) during the season in their respective classes. The awards were presented by Greg Schroeder, New Century's Executive Vice President, Director of Marketing & eCommerce, and Pam Beard, Director, New Century Mortgage Motorsports.
IMSA Cup championships, presented by IMSA Chief Operating Officer Tim Mayer to the top non-factory teams in each class, were received by Maraj for Champion Racing in the LMP1 class; Clint Field of Intersport Racing in LMP2; Jeff Giangrade of ACEMCO Motorsports in the GTS class; and Seth Neiman of Flying Lizard Motorsports in the GT class.
Tech and pit officials of ALMS sanctioning body IMSA selected Mechanic of the Year award winners in each class, including Scott Halupke of Dyson Racing, LMP1; Mark Walpot, Intersport Racing, LMP2; Dan Binks, Corvette Racing, GTS; and Tommy Sadler, Flying Lizard Motorsports, GT.
The top three finishers in driver and team categories for all four classes were were honored onstage.
Award recipients received trophies designed by Scott Naish and built by Elan Motorsports Technologies, making use of granite, carbon fiber and metal. In addition, several award winners received original paintings by renowned motorsports artist Jim Swintal.
John Hindhaugh, lead announcer for the American Le Mans Series Radio Web, served as Master of Ceremonies for the dinner, held at the Hyatt Regency in Monterey, Calif. Banquet hostesses and trophy presenters were the popular Pirelli Girls who attend all ALMS races. Approximately 600 people attended the awards dinner.
The 2005 American Le Mans Series season begins with the 53rd annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Mar. 17-19.