LAGUNA SECA JOINS '99 AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES SCHEDULE
NOVEMBER 7 DATE SET FOR SAN DIEGO SEASON CLOSER
INDIANAPOLIS, December 4, 1998 - Laguna Seca Raceway near Monterey, Calif., will host the next-to-last race on the 1999 American Le Mans Series schedule and the series' exotic sports cars and drivers will end their inaugural campaign November 7 on the streets of San Diego, it was announced today.
The announcement was made in separate news releases from Laguna Seca Raceway and the American Le Mans Series.
The Laguna Seca race is scheduled for Oct. 10, with the second annual Petit Le Mans moving to Sept. 18 at Road Atlanta. With the addition of Laguna Seca, the series' goal of an eight-race slate for 1999 has been met.
"We have the satisfaction of having major markets, exceptional television and a solid marketing platform for participants and sponsors," said Bill Donaldson, Executive Director of the American Le Mans Series.
Laguna Seca and San Diego executives were pleased to be a part of the series' first season.
John Stornetta, General Manager at Laguna Seca Raceway, commented, "When we chose to bring sports car racing back to Monterey during our 40th anniversary season, we made a commitment to our sponsors and our fans to provide the most prestigious and competitive series available anywhere. SCRAMP (the non-profit entity that operates Laguna Seca Raceway) believes the American Le Mans Series is in a unique position to deliver this."
"The key indicators of the potential success of the San Diego Grand Prix exists in the combined demographics of San Diego and the Southern California marketplace, the sports car fan demographic profile and the viewer profile of CNBC" said Bruce Watkins, Managing Director of the San Diego Grand Prix. "San Diego's resort destination appeal and unbeatable waterfront background combine to give the San Diego Grand Prix a truly unique opportunity to become a powerful new name in the world of sporting events. We are extremely pleased to be a part of the American Le Mans Series."
The series opens with the 12 Hours of Sebring, the nation's oldest road race, on March 20 at Sebring, Florida, and runs one race per month through the San Diego event, an inaugural venture for the city.
NBC will televise rounds July 25 at Sears Point and Aug. 1 at Portland on a live basis. CNBC will air the April 18 race at Road Atlanta, June 27 at Mosport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, Laguna Seca and San Diego live.
The Petit Le Mans, which kicked off the series concept in October at Road Atlanta, will feature a two-hour package on NBC with a one-day delay.
ESPN and ESPN2 will air a package of live broadcasts from the 12 Hours of Sebring and a delayed post-race highlights show.
The Women's Global GT Series and SuperStars of Auto Racing will also be part of the American Le Mans Series program.