Notes of Interest 2001-12-05

101 DAYS TO SEBRING -- The 2002 American Le Mans Series season will open in just 101 days with the running of the 50th annual Mobil1 12 Hours of Sebring, presented by Dodge. A celebration fitting the 50th running of America's oldest sports car...

101 DAYS TO SEBRING -- The 2002 American Le Mans Series season will open in just 101 days with the running of the 50th annual Mobil1 12 Hours of Sebring, presented by Dodge.

A celebration fitting the 50th running of America's oldest sports car race will take place at Sebring International Raceway. Many of the former winning cars and drivers will be at the Florida track to take part in the festivities.

Ticket information is available online at www.sebringraceway.com.

LOLA TESTS LMP 675 AT SEBRING -- Lola conducted some tests on Monday and Tuesday of this week at Sebring International Raceway with its new LMP 675 car. The British-based MG-Lola team and Archangel Motorsports of the US conducted the tests, with Ireland's Johnny Kane behind the wheel for most of the two days.

The British chassis builder is negotiating with several race teams to supply customer cars for the American Le Mans Series in the 2002 season, starting with the 12-hour event at Sebring on March 16. Representatives of many of the teams were on hand to observe the testing and see the car.

Kane, a former Indy Lights driver who has also worked as a television commentator on SKY Sports coverage of European Le Mans Series races, had never run the full 3.7-mile Sebring course before but quickly adapted. Sailing along on the smooth new Sebring pavement, he turned a lap of 1:48.5 on the second day, faster than the 1:48.825 track record set by Frank Biela in an Audi R8 in 2000.

TRANS-AM TO JOIN ALMS FOR FIVE EVENTS -- The extremely popular Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup will join the American Le Mans Series for five events in the 2002 season. The series released its schedule on Tuesday.

One of the biggest weekends of the year for the American Le Mans Series will be even bigger in 2002 with the addition of a Trans-Am Series race to Audi presents Petit Le Mans weekend at Road Atlanta. The Trans-Am Series will compete on the challenging natural-terrain road racing circuit on Friday, August 11, the day prior to the season-ending event for the ALMS.

The Trans-Am season will kick off in Miami as part of the Grand Prix of the Americas weekend on the Miami Downtown street circuit. The Trans-Am race will be held on Saturday, April 6, the day before the ALMS event.

The next time the two series will be together will be in June at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, with the Trans-Am event held on the day before the Sunday, June 30, ALMS race.

The inaugural National Grand Prix of Washington, D.C., event on the grounds of RFK Stadium will include a Trans-Am race on Saturday, July 20. The ALMS race will be on Sunday, July 21.

The American Le Mans Series will make its first-ever appearance in Quebec with the Saturday, August 3, running of Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres. The Trans-Am Series will race the following day.

COURAGE TAKES STEPS TOWARD LE MANS WIN -- Prototype race car constructor Courage has undergone a corporate reorganization and is focusing on an ambitious three-year program that will see the car on the track for major endurance races, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

A Courage C60-Peugeot, entered by the Pescarolo Motorsport Team of France, competed in last year's American Le Mans Series event at Sebring. Despite a number of strong performances, including two podiums at Le Mans, Courage is still seeking its first win in the French racing classic.

Yves Courage has introduced entrepreneur Daniel Rivard, head of the Marais industrial group, into the ownership of Courage. Rivard has taken charge of the team's strategy and marketing, employing the services of sports media marketing professionals.

On the technical side, the team's 1,800-square-meters office and shop at the Le Mans Circuit Technoparc has been newly equipped and the staff reinforced.

The 2002 prototype will be called the C60 Evo, powered by a Judd 4-litre V10 engine and equipped with the Xtrac transversal gearbox. The new assembly recently had its first track test with Boris Derichebourg doing the driving.

-ALMS-

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