Long Beach race listed on 2008 calendar

AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES ANNOUNCES 2008 "SUPER SATURDAY" AT TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH The American Le Mans Series returns to Southern California's iconic car culture April 18-20 with the 34th running of the annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long...

AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES ANNOUNCES 2008 "SUPER SATURDAY" AT TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH

The American Le Mans Series returns to Southern California's iconic car culture April 18-20 with the 34th running of the annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach has announced a special "Super Saturday" package with the return of America's premier sports car series that had its Long Beach debut earlier this year before a record crowd.

"The Grand Prix of Long Beach has such great history," said Scott Atherton, President and CEO of the American Le Mans Series. "Its 34 years of tradition have made it America's premier street course race. It is more than just a race. It is an event. It is an experience. It is where the greatest street race culture in North America meets the most relevant race car culture in North America.

"Our drivers, team owners, manufacturers and corporate partners all felt our inaugural experience was an unqualified success and a great way to premier our Series in Southern California. We look forward to coming back and making the Saturday show even better."

The famed 1.97-mile street circuit will see the American Le Mans Series be part of an exciting Saturday that also includes the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, Champ Car final qualifying, EZ Lube Team Drift Challenge on the track, and the Tecate Rock-N-Roar Concert and Miss Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Pageant in the evening. The Saturday-only reserved seat ticket includes all-rows seating in Grandstand #21 (in Turn 10) and Grandstand 26 (at the start of the pit straightaway) for only $57.

"Our fans have made it perfectly clear that the American Le Mans Series was one of the highlights of the 2007 weekend," said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. "As a result, we've created a Saturday-only reserved seat ticket to accommodate the growing number of Series fans who not only enjoy the best in sports car racing, but plan on remaining for our Saturday evening activities, which are free to race ticket holders."

Southern California boats a density of new car dealerships unmatched in any other North American market. Because a primary focus for American Le Mans Series auto manufacturers is the transfer of technology from its race cars to customer cars, the positioning of the Long Beach event on the race schedule is of critical value.

"We are looking forward to returning to Long Beach," said Robert Clarke, president of Honda Performance Development. "The Grand Prix is in one of the largest U.S. markets and it is in Acura's backyard (Torrance, CA). We have had great success at Long Beach previously, winning seven straight open-wheel races with Honda and the overall pole in this year's American Le Mans Series race with Acura. We want to win there in 2008, so we are excited to race the streets of Long Beach again."

"This is one of the most important car markets in the world," continued Atherton. "Southern California is renowned for its car culture. We could not be more pleased to be back at Long Beach."

Earlier this spring in its inaugural Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, fans witnessed a historic Porsche podium sweep as Penske Racing's Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard placed first overall among three LMP2-class Porsche RS Spyders. Penske's other tandem of Sascha Maassen and Ryan Briscoe finished second while Dyson Racing's Andy Wallace and Butch Leitzinger placed third.

The American Le Mans Series is halfway through a 12-race 2007 schedule which began at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in March and culminates October 18-20 with the Monterey Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. This weekend, the Series races in the Acura Sports Car Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Green flag for the two-hour, 45- minute race is 3:15 p.m. ET Saturday. CBS Sports will telecast the race Sunday from 2:00-4:00 p.m. ET. XM Satellite Radio will provide coverage from 9 p.m. to midnight ET on Saturday.

The complete the American Le Mans Series schedule will be announced Friday, Oct. 5 at the annual State of the Series address that precedes Saturday's Petit Le Mans, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

-credit: alms

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Series ALMS
Drivers Andy Wallace , Butch Leitzinger , Sascha Maassen , Timo Bernhard , Ryan Briscoe , Jim Michaelian , Romain Dumas , Robert Clark
Teams Team Penske , Dyson Racing