Braselton, GA - After a three-month schedule break, the American Le Mans Series will return to action this weekend with the running of American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio. The professional sports car racing series will hold a two-hour, 45-minute timed ...
Braselton, GA - After a three-month schedule break, the American Le Mans Series will return to action this weekend with the running of American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio. The professional sports car racing series will hold a two-hour, 45-minute timed event on Sunday, June 27, at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. News and notes pertaining to the ALMS and the event follow.
* Three ALMS teams come to Mid-Ohio straight from class victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, including hometown hero Clint Field, who raced home first in the LMP2 at Le Mans a few days before his 21st birthday in only his first Le Mans appearance. He drove a Lola B2K/40-Judd for Intersport Racing.
Corvette reclaimed its Le Mans championship pedigree with a 1-2 finish over the defending Ferrari GTS champions, and the Petersen-White Lightning Porsche swept to a GT class victory. This marks six consecutive seasons in which a team that races regularly in the ALMS has notched a victory at Le Mans. Corvette has three Le Mans GTS titles (2001, 2002, 2004), and the Petersen team won for the second straight year in GT.
* Of the 28 teams that will compete in American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio are 10 that raced in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. They are Champion Racing (LMP1), Intersport Racing (LMP1, LMP2, two cars), Corvette Racing (GTS, two cars), Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing (GT), BAM! (GT), The Racer's Group (GT), Panoz Motor Sports (GT) and PK Sport (GT).
* The American Le Mans Series has raced twice previously at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, in 2001 and 2002. There was no event held in 2003 due to scheduling conflicts.
* The Mid-Ohio event will be Round Two of the nine-race ALMS season for 2004. The series has not raced since the season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in March, the break built into the schedule to allow ALMS teams to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
* Two new types of race cars will make their ALMS debut at Mid-Ohio, including the Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT (GTS class) and the Panoz Esperante GT-LM (GT class).
* Two racing teams new to the ALMS will debut at Mid-Ohio, while another team will return to action for the first time since the end of the 2002 season. The new Krohn-Barbour Racing team, owned by Texas businessman Tracy Krohn and longtime sports car team owner Dick Barbour, will debut with a pair of Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT cars in the GTS class.
Also debuting will be Race Car Company, a Georgia-based team that will run a Lola B2K/40-Millington in the LMP2 class. The team is owned by James Cooke and Jason Dunken. Returning to the series is the Panoz Motor Sports factory team, which will run a Panoz Esperante GT-LM in the GT class.
* Scheduled to make his first-ever ALMS start is Ryan Eversley, 20, of Winder, Ga., who will drive a Lola B2K/40-Millington for Race Car Company. Eversley has previously worked as a mechanic for Archangel Motorsports and JML Team Panoz, and has driven open-wheel cars as well as Grand-Am Cup.
* Sascha Maassen's streak of 40 consecutive ALMS starts, the longest active streak in the ALMS, will not be continued at Mid-Ohio as the two-time ALMS GT champion is not entered in the event. Maassen will run selected races this season with both the Alex Job Racing and BAM! teams.
* David Brabham is making his second ALMS start in 2004 - and in his second different GTS race car. Brabham joined Johnny Mowlem and Terry Borcheller in a Saleen at Sebring in March and now will climb into the new Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT entry with Peter Kox, who drove a Ferrari last year in GTS.
* Audi's carries its ALMS record 15-race LMP1 win streak into round #2 at Mid-Ohio. Audi won at Sebring to extend the record.
* Among manufacturers, Porsche has a pair of impressive performance streaks on the line at Mid-Ohio. Porsche owns the all-time mark for the most ALMS poles (41) and all-time victories (41). Porsche carries a 20 race GT win streak into Mid-Ohio, a run that started at Sebring in 2002.
In pole positions, Audi is second (34) with Corvette and Lola/MG next with 18.
Among all-time manufacturer winners, Audi is second with 33 and Corvette has 23.
* With starts at Mid-Ohio, David Brabham and Johnny O'Connell will tie Jan with Magnussen for the most ALMS career starts at 46. Magnussen is racing for Corvette Racing in 2004 but only at Sebring, Le Mans and Petit Le Mans. With starts at Mid-Ohio, Ron Fellows and JJ Lehto will also climb into a fifth place tie with Frank Biela (41) and just one behind Sascha Maassen's fourth place slot (42) as neither Biela nor Maassen is entered.
With six events in the next eight weeks, O'Connell, Brabham, Fellows and Lehto have a chance to rewrite a number of ALMS all-time marks.
* The Corvette driver combination of Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell will be shooting for three straight Mid-Ohio GTS victories, having won the inaugural event in 2001 and again in 2002. In addition, a win at Mid-Ohio will move Fellows and O'Connell into a tie with Lucas Luhr for second place on the series' all-time wins list with 18. Luhr is not entered in the event.
* Alex Job Racing, which won the GT class at Sebring, is the only entrant to have recorded a victory in all six seasons of the ALMS. Sascha Maassen is the only driver to have done so, his Sebring GT win coming in a Job car.
* Four (4) ALMS drivers competing at Mid-Ohio have won races for two (2) different marques:
Oliver Gavin (Saleen & Corvette)
JJ Lehto (BMW & Audi)
Johnny O'Connell (Panoz & Corvette)
Andy Wallace (Panoz & Lola)
In total, 10 drivers have accomplished this feat in ALMS history (1999-2003). David Brabham has a chance to join this elite group with a win for Lamborghini as 2004 unfolds.
ALMS ALL-TIME COMPETITION 'BY-THE-NUMBERS'
* 48 all-time races
* 604 drivers have started at least one ALMS race
* 93 different drivers have won races
* 217 drivers have at least one top three finish
* 327 drivers have at least one top five finish
* 498 drivers have at least one top 10 finish
* 40 different drivers have won at least one pole (fast qualifier)
* 49 different drivers have posted fast laps in an ALMS event.