Notes of interest 2001-09-18

American Le Mans Series Notes Of Interest ** ALMS TEAMS PREPARE FOR FINALE -- American Le Mans Series teams are making preparations for Audi presents Petit Le Mans, the final event of the 2001 season. The 10-hour sports car endurance...

American Le Mans Series Notes Of Interest

** ALMS TEAMS PREPARE FOR FINALE -- American Le Mans Series teams are making preparations for Audi presents Petit Le Mans, the final event of the 2001 season. The 10-hour sports car endurance race will be held at Road Atlanta on Saturday, Oct. 6.

The event starts at 12 noon and continues until 10 p.m., meaning that several hours of racing will be held in darkness. The Speedvision network will have live, flag-to-flag coverage on television, while the live broadcast by the American Le Mans Series Radio Web can be heard online at www.americanlemans.com.

Ticket information is available online at www.roadatlanta.com or by calling 1-800-849-7223.

** FROM THE FANS AWARD VOTING TO BEGIN -- One of the most significant awards that will be presented at the ALMS awards ceremony in Atlanta on Oct. 7 is the third annual "From the Fans" award. Fans of the American Le Mans Series will soon have the opportunity to vote online at www.americanlemans.com.

The voting is for the person who has done the most for sports car racing during the 2001 season. The name of the recipient will remain a closely-guarded secret until being revealed during the awards ceremony.

The recipient of the first award in 1999 was ALMS founder Don Panoz, while the 2000 recipient was Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Sport.

** ANOTHER FERRARI ENTERS -- Sports car racing fans were thrilled a few weeks ago when it was announced that England-based Prodrive was entering a Ferrari 550 Maranello in the GTS class of Audi presents Petit Le Mans. No Ferrari has competed in the series since early in the 2000 season.

Now, a second Ferrari has been entered in the event: a 360 Modena. The entrant is MSB Motorsport, and the drivers will be Ralf Kelleners of Germany, Marino Franchitti of Scotland and Kelvin Burt of England. The car will compete in the GT class.

Kelleners was the third driver for Champion Racing's Audi R8 earlier this year in the 12 Hours at Sebring, where the team finished third overall, and also drove for the team in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Franchitti and Burt, GTO-class champions of the European Privilege racing series, will be making their ALMS debuts. Franchitti is the younger brother of CART FedEx Championship Series star Dario Franchitti.

** PARK PLACE SALEEN TO RACE AT ROAD ATLANTA -- The successful Park Place Racing/Fordahl Motorsports Saleen S7R team has joined the growing entry list for Audi presents Petit Le Mans.

The team has dominated the GTS class this season in the Grand-Am Series, scoring wins in six of eight races and taking seven of eight pole positions. Chris Bingham of Bellevue, Wash., and Ron Johnson of Laguna Beach, Calif., will co-drive, along with a third pilot to be named.

"I am really looking forward to returning to the ALMS," said Bingham, who drove a Prototype in most of the ALMS events in 1999 but has never competed in the Petit Le Mans.

"Petit is one of the biggest, premier road races and I'm excited to be part of it," he said. "Ron and I are a great team. We've had great success in the Saleen together in the Grand-Am Series, and I think we will carry that over to the ALMS."

** ATLANTA TO BE SITE FOR ALMS PROMOTIONS -- Race fans in the Atlanta area will have several opportunities to see American Le Mans Series cars and meet ALMS drivers in the week prior to the Oct. 6 running of Audi presents Petit Le Mans.

Andretti Speed Lab, an indoor karting facility in Marietta, Ga., will be the scene for some go-kart races between ALMS drivers and members of the media on Monday night, Oct. 1. Action will begin at 6 p.m.

Centennial Park in Downtown Atlanta will host an autograph session for ALMS drivers on Tuesday, Oct. 2, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Several ALMS cars will drive to the park through the streets of Atlanta, an event expected to attract a great deal of attention due to its unusual nature.

Later that evening, ALMS drivers will meet fans at the Downtown Atlanta location of Planet Hollywood, a popular theme restaurant. Drivers and show cars will be on site from 5-7 p.m.

-ALMS-

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Series ALMS
Drivers Chris Bingham , Ralf Kelleners , Dario Franchitti , Marino Franchitti , Don Panoz , Kelvin Burt , Ron Johnson