INDIANAPOLIS (April 13, 2001) -- The famed Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, will host an event of the American Le Mans Series on Aug. 25, ALMS and Mid-Ohio officials have announced. The new event replaces a race that the ALMS recently cancelled at Canada's Circuit Mont-Tremblant.
Races for the American Le Mans Series and the Trans-Am Series have been incorporated into a scheduled NeOhio Region-SCCA National event, happening Aug. 24-26, creating a spectacular weekend of road racing action at the 2.258-mile, 13-turn Mid-Ohio circuit. Both the ALMS and Trans-Am races will be run on Saturday of the weekend, with SCCA Club Racing on both Saturday and Sunday. Qualifying and practice for the ALMS and Trans-Am events will be held on Friday.
The ALMS race will be a timed event of two hours and 45 minutes and will get the green flag at 1 p.m. (EDT). It will be televised live in the United States by NBC Sports, with highlights to be televised in Europe by Eurosport on Sept. 9 at 23:15 (CET). The 100-mile Trans-Am event will start at 4:15 p.m.
"This is a tremendous development and a great day for the American Le Mans Series," said Scott Atherton, President and COO of the Panoz Motor Sports Group, which includes the ALMS. "Mid-Ohio has a long history and tradition of excellence in motorsports, and we can't think of a better place for us to be racing as a replacement after the unfortunate situation with the Mont-Tremblant event.
"We owe a great deal of thanks to Michelle Trueman Gajoch and the entire staff of Mid-Ohio for what they have done," said Atherton. "And we also are thankful to NeOhio Region - SCCA and Duane Harrington, the SCCA Regional Executive, for being instrumental in the SCCA allowing us to be a part of their weekend at Mid-Ohio. This sets the stage for the future of the American Le Mans Series at Mid-Ohio."
"This weekend is a spectacular new addition to our 40th year of racing at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, which for the first time ever features seven spectator events," said Michelle Trueman Gajoch, President of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. "The cooperation and support of the NeOhio Region - SCCA, and the SCCA Club Racing national office were crucial in making this event happen.
"The weekend will provide a fabulous show for sports car racing fans and also serve as a preview to the Valvoline Runoffs (National Championship for SCCA Club Racing) happening in mid-September at Mid-Ohio," she said. "We want to thank Don Panoz and Scott Atherton of ALMS for their persistence and dedication in bringing the series to Mid-Ohio."
The ALMS, which features many of the cars and drivers that compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, was founded in 1999 by entrepreneur Don Panoz. The series is holding nine events in North America in the 2001 season, and the Mid-Ohio race will be the first ever for the series in the American Midwest.
"Mid-Ohio is a very important addition to our schedule," said Atherton. "Not only is it one of the premier road racing facilities in the country, its location helps our series, manufacturers and sponsors break into an entirely new market. We are looking forward to an outstanding weekend in August."