Mid-Ohio: Notes of Interest

BACK TO BACK RACES FOR ALMS - The American Le Mans Series returns to racing action this weekend with American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio, the first half of a consecutive weekends doubleheader for the sports car racing series. Following Sunday's event...

BACK TO BACK RACES FOR ALMS - The American Le Mans Series returns to racing action this weekend with American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio, the first half of a consecutive weekends doubleheader for the sports car racing series.

Following Sunday's event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, the series will move north and west to make its first-ever appearance at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. The Road America 500 presented by the Chicago Tribune will be run on Sunday, July 7.

The Mid-Ohio race will start at 2 p.m. (EDT) and will be televised live by the SPEED Channel. The Road America event will start at 12:15 p.m. (CDT) and will have live coverage by CBS from 4-6 p.m. (EDT). Both races will be broadcast by the American Le Mans Series Radio Web, which can be heard online at www.americanlemans.com.

FISH, MARRIOTT RETURN TO SPEED CHANNEL TEAM - Veteran broadcasters Calvin Fish and Andrew Marriott will return to the broadcast team for SPEED Channel's coverage of the American Le Mans Series event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend.

Fish and Marriott will report from the pits during the live telecast of the two hour, 45-minute race. Fish worked most of SPEED Channel's telecasts of ALMS races last year and this year's Sebring race, but has been mostly working on CART event telecasts this year for the cable network. Fish is very familiar with Mid-Ohio and the former driver teaches at a driving school located at the track. He will be on the rest of SPEED Channel's ALMS telecasts this year.

England's Marriott worked on SPEED Channel's coverage of the 24 Hours of Le Mans earlier this month. He has also done some ALMS races for NBC Sports.

Jon Beekhuis, who has been a pit reporter for SPEED Channel on the first two ALMS races of the season, will miss the Mid-Ohio race but will be back later in the season. Amanda Stretton, the other regular pit reporter on ALMS races, will miss the rest of the season on maternity leave.

Rick Benjamin (play-by-play) and Bill Adam (analysis) will be in the booth for the Mid-Ohio broadcast by SPEED Channel.

HERTA TO TRY PITCHING ARM - American Le Mans Series driver Bryan Herta will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Columbus (Ohio) Clippers baseball game this Friday night.

The Clippers, associated with the New York Yankees and a member of the AAA International League, will be taking on the Syracuse Sky Chiefs at 7:30 p.m. at Cooper Stadium in Columbus. Herta will sign autographs prior to the start of the game and his time on the pitcher's mound.

The appearance will mark somewhat of a homecoming for Herta, who drives for Panoz Motor Sports on the ALMS. The California resident graduated from nearby Ohio State University and lived in Columbus while driving for car owner Bobby Rahal on the CART series. He will be in the Columbus area preparing for the Sunday, June 30, ALMS event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

DOWNTOWN PARTY FOR MID-OHIO - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will hold a fanfest party to kick off the weekend for American Le Mans Series at Mid-Ohio in the revitalized Downtown area of Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday, June 27, from 5-9 p.m.

Brewmasters Gate Restaurant will be the site for the fanfest, which will feature show cars, ALMS drivers, ticket giveaways and live music.

NEW FERRARI TEAM TO CHALLENGE PORSCHES - A new Ferrari team will join the American Le Mans Series for the upcoming race at Road America and will take on the Porsches in the series' GT class.

CBR Sport, a European team, will run a Ferrari 550 Maranello at Road America and will possibly field two cars in some races later in the season. The appearance of CBR Sport will mark the first use of a 550 Maranello as a GT car in American Le Mans Seies competition. Other teams are using the model in the GTS ranks. The GT version is much closer to the road-going Maranello.

Veterans Stefano Buttiero of Italy and Craig Stanton of California will co-drive the Ferrari at Road America. The car will be run at Road America by Seikel Motorsport, a regular ALMS team that also fields a Porsche in the GT class.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Bobby Rahal , Bryan Herta , Calvin Fish , Craig Stanton , Amanda Stretton , Bill Adam