2006 schedule announced

TWO NEW VENUES, HISTORIC TELEVISION PACKAGE HIGHLIGHT AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES' 2006 SCHEDULE Braselton, Ga. - Featuring two new venues in highly sought after markets and an enhanced television broadcast package involving both CBS Sports and...

TWO NEW VENUES, HISTORIC TELEVISION PACKAGE HIGHLIGHT AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES' 2006 SCHEDULE

Braselton, Ga. - Featuring two new venues in highly sought after markets and an enhanced television broadcast package involving both CBS Sports and SPEED Channel, the American Le Mans Series announced its 10-race schedule for 2006 today during its annual "State of the Series" address.

The address was made at Road Atlanta, site of this weekend's Petit Le Mans and Round 9 of the ALMS.

"We could not be more pleased about our 2006 event schedule," said Scott Atherton, president and CEO of the American Le Mans Series. "The combination of venues, markets and television package we were able to assemble further cements the American Le Mans Series as the premier sports car racing series in North America."

New events for 2006 include the Houston Grand Prix in May, at the city's downtown street course, and the Grand Prix of Utah at the new Miller Motorsports Park, an impressive, expansive road course just outside Salt Lake City.

On the television side, the American Le Mans Series will appear on CBS Sports five times in 2006, the most network appearances for the series in its history. Rounds 2 through 6 will be shown on CBS Sports, offering continuity on network television the ALMS hasn't seen in its lifetime.

In addition, SPEED Channel will continue its long-standing partnership with the ALMS with five broadcasts.

"When we started the process of forming our schedule for 2006, the markets impacted and expansion of our national TV broadcast package were key components," Atherton said. "Today, we have realized all of those. I feel very comfortable saying that the 2006 schedule is the strongest overall we have ever had in the history of the American Le Mans Series and confirms our continued growth and vitality."

At 4.5 miles, Miller Motorsports Park, located just outside Salt Lake City in Tooele, Utah, will be the longest track in the ALMS, as well as the longest in the United States, featuring a 3,500-foot main straight. The configuration also will feature 24 turns, again an ALMS record. The track is located on a 511-acre site in Tooele County's Deseret Peak Complex, which is 25 minutes from the Salt Lake City International Airport.

At 4.5 miles, Miller Motorsports Park, located just outside Salt Lake City in Tooele, Utah, will be the longest track in the ALMS, as well as the longest in the United States, featuring a 3,500-foot main straight. The configuration also will feature 24 turns, again an ALMS record. The track is located on a 511-acre site in Tooele County's Deseret Peak Complex, which is 25 minutes from the Salt Lake City International Airport.

Houston played host to its first street racing event in 1998. The new 1.7-mile temporary street circuit will be located at Reliant Park and will mark the first street race for the ALMS since Miami in 2003. An added bonus is Houston as a market. It is the fourth largest city in the United States in terms of population, and it is a top-10 TV market.

"This is a schedule on which we have worked long and hard," said Tim Mayer, COO of IMSA. "It has everything a fan, sponsor and team of the ALMS could want: new events, an enhanced television package and incredible new opportunities in Salt Lake City and Houston."

Also included in the 2006 schedule is the traditional season-opener at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway and the 1,000-mile/10-hour Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. As has been in the past, SPEED Channel will continue to provide consistent live coverage of the ALMS' two premier events, as well as the season-ending Monterey Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

The series also will return to many of its traditional stops which have become popular with fans since the formation of the ALMS in 1999: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lime Rock Park, Portland International Raceway, Road America and Mosport International Raceway.

All rounds of the 2006 ALMS will be within 250 miles of the total population in the United States, based on the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

As was the case in 2005, drivers and teams will enjoy a schedule that allows for recovery time between events. More importantly, teams that compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans will have ample time between Round 3 at Mid-Ohio and Round 4 at Lime Rock to prepare for the historic French endurance classic. This season, series teams captured three class titles and nine podium spots in the historic French classic. The 14 ALMS teams that made the journey to Le Mans represented the largest contingent from one country in this season's race.

The American Le Mans Series
The American Le Mans Series is a series of sports car endurance racing events patterned after the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. ALMS events feature multi-class racing among the world's most elite sports car racing drivers and teams. The starting lineup for every event includes both factory and privateer racing teams competing for overall wins as well as wins in one of four classes of competition.

The International Motor Sports Association
The International Motor Sports Association is the premier sanctioning body for sports car racing in North America. Since its establishment in 1969, IMSA has conducted hundreds of auto races on a variety of permanent and temporary racing circuits in the United States and Canada. IMSA currently sanctions several professional auto racing series, including the American Le Mans Series, Star Mazda Championship, Panoz Racing Series, Formula BMW and the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge presented by Michelin.

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