American Le Mans Series notes of interest 2002-02-14

AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES NOTES OF INTEREST ** COUNTDOWN TO SEBRING CONTINUES: 30 DAYS -- The 2002 American Le Mans Series season will open in just 30 days with the March 16 running of the 50th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, presented by...

AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES NOTES OF INTEREST

** COUNTDOWN TO SEBRING CONTINUES: 30 DAYS -- The 2002 American Le Mans Series season will open in just 30 days with the March 16 running of the 50th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, presented by Dodge, at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway.

The 50th anniversary of America's oldest sports car race will be celebrated in grand style with many former winning drivers and cars returning to the legendary circuit for the festivities.

The 12-hour race will be televised live from start to finish on the SPEED Channel, while the American Le Mans Series Radio Web will have live coverage that can be heard online at www.imsaracing.net.

Ticket information is available online at www.sebringraceway.com or by calling the Sebring ticket office at (863) 655-1442 (toll-free in Florida 1-800-626-7223).

** FOUR MORE FORMER WINNERS JOIN FESTIVITIES -- Three former winning cars and another former winning driver have joined the festivities surrounding the 50th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, presented by Dodge.

Vic Elford, the 1971 winner of the race, is the latest former winning driver to join the festivities. Elford co-drove to victory that year in a Porsche 917 with Gerard Larrousse. As previously announced, the car itself will also be present.

The Cunningham C4R which won the first FIA World Championship Sports Car race at Sebring International Raceway in 1953 will be present, as will the powerful Ford MkIV which carried Mario Andretti and Bruce McLaren to victory in 1967.

The Coca-Cola Porsche 962, which won the fastest 12 Hours ever in 1986, will also be on hand for fans to see. The car was driven by Hans Stuck, Bob Akin and the late Jo Gartner.

** NEW PORSCHE TEAM ENTERS GT RANKS -- The GT ranks of the American Le Mans Series for 2002 grew today with the announcement that J3 Racing of Atlanta will field a Porsche 911 GT3 RS in the series this season.

Mike Fitzgerald of Phoenix, whose racing exploits in Porsches have been very successful in recent years, will co-drive the car with Justin Jackson of Alpharetta, Ga. Fitzgerald was the Porsche Cup champion in 2000, while Jackson was the top rookie in the SPEED World Challenge GT ranks that same season.

J3 Racing fielded a car for Jackson the past two seasons and the entire team will step up to American Le Mans Series competition. The team will be supported in the ALMS by Trans Sport Racing Transportation Services and Franz Blam Racing.

** RACELINE RADIO WINS EMPA AWARD FOR ALMS SHOW -- Raceline Radio, a Canadian motorsports program, recently received an industry award for a show that aired prior to last year's American Le Mans Series event at Mosport International Raceway.

The award was from the Eastern Motorsport Press Association (EMPA) and was for First Place in the broadcast category. It was the ninth time in the show's 10-year history that it received the EMPA award.

The two-hour broadcast aired on Monday, August 13, across The TEAM, Canada's Sports Radio Network. ALMS drivers Rinaldo Capello and Ron Fellows were live, in-studio guests, along with staff from Mosport. Capello and Fellows fielded calls from race fans listening to the show on TEAM affiliates in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Halifax, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Kitchener/Waterloo Region, Kingston and Peterborough. Raceline is also carried in Niagara Falls and London.

The program airs at 10 p.m. (Eastern) every Monday night and is co-anchored by Erik Tomas and John Massingberd.

** SEARS POINT COMPLETES PEDESTRIAN TUNNELS -- Race fans attending the May 19 American Le Mans Series race at California's Sears Point Raceway will have an easier time moving around the circuit thanks to two recently-completed underground pedestrian tunnels.

The tunnels, which are part of the raceway's $50 million Modernization Plan, will expedite pedestrian traffic flow around the property on major event weekends.

One tunnel is located on the west side of the start-finish line adjacent to the new permanent grandstand. The start-finish tunnel connects the paddock with the Turn 10 vendor area.

The other tunnel is located in Turn 10 and connects that area to the Gate 3 fan entrance and shuttle stop. The tunnels replace the bridges that used to be in the locations and improve the sightlines of the road course dramatically. Fans sitting in the permanent grandstand will now be able to see 65 percent of the road course, including the most high-speed segment of the circuit at Turn 10.

** QUICK NOTES -- Work is progressing on the Miami Downtown Street Circuit, which will host the Grand Prix Americas for the American Le Mans Series on April 8 ^Å. John Morton, the 1994 Sebring winner, hopes to become the first driver in Sebring history to race in five different decades if he is able to secure a ride for the March 16 race ^Å. Gill Campbell has been named General Manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca after initially being hired on an interim basis by the Monterey, Calif., facility ^Å. Team Bucknum Racing, which will field two LMP 675 cars in the American Le Mans Series this season, has launched a new website at www.teambucknum.com ^Å.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Rinaldo Capello , Ron Fellows , Vic Elford , Mario Andretti , Bruce McLaren , Jo Gartner , John Morton , Justin Jackson , Gerard Larrousse