Road Atlanta: Atherton comments on fuel availability

ATHERTON EXPRESSES OPTIMISM ABOUT ATTENDANCE AND FUEL AVAILABILITY FOR PETIT LE MANS "While news reports have extensively reported concerns regarding the fuel supply in the Atlanta area, we do not anticipate this to have an effect on attendance...

ATHERTON EXPRESSES OPTIMISM ABOUT ATTENDANCE AND FUEL AVAILABILITY FOR PETIT LE MANS

"While news reports have extensively reported concerns regarding the fuel supply in the Atlanta area, we do not anticipate this to have an effect on attendance for this weekend's 11th annual Petit Le Mans powered by the Totally New MAZDA6," says Scott Atherton, President & CEO of the American Le Mans Series. "While fuel stations around Road Atlanta and surrounding areas have experienced some supply limitations, we know such instances have been sporadic in nature and should not alter the plans of those considering attendance at Petit Le Mans. Recent news reports and statements from the Governor's office indicate a steady increase in supply with expectations of being back to business as usual by Thursday or Friday of this week - great timing for us.

"Ironically, rather than a negative, we see this situation as a positive especially considering the global attention that the debut of the Green Challenge has received. This is an ideal opportunity for the Series as well as our teams and manufacturers to show a worldwide audience the alternative fuels and fuel-efficient technologies that are prevalent throughout our paddock and transfer directly to showrooms and dealerships around the world. From a Green Challenge perspective, Atlanta's gas shortage couldn't be better timed... Our commitment to developing innovative, environmentally friendly advancements has never been stronger."

AAA Auto Club South Expects Gas Shortage to Ease by Petit Le Mans Weekend

A total and complete resolution of the current gas shortage in the Southeast may take until Columbus Day, but you can expect a marked improvement in the availability of gas in metro Atlanta by this weekend, says an AAA Auto Club South official.

"I do not expect it will be perfect by this weekend, but the availability of gasoline will be much improved," says Randy Bly, Director of Community Relations Public and Government for AAA Auto Club South. "There may still be some shortage and inconvenience but I feel it will be much easier to find fuel than it is currently. It is already getting better in many areas just in the last few days."

Bly adds a tip for visitors traveling to Road Atlanta for the Petit Le Mans Powered By the Totally New MAZDA6 on Saturday: "If you're traveling a long distance, I suggest you look for fuel once you drop below a half tank just to be sure."

Part of the reason for the current gas shortage is the growing urge to fill up even when the gauge reads three-quarters full.

"For the regional commuter and for those traveling around Road Atlanta, there is no reason to fill at every pump," says Bly. "That panic-buying adds to the problem. As people start to realize that the supplies are actually already improving in these areas they will start to change their buying habits back to those before the problem, and I think that will help things return to normal even quicker."

Petit Le Mans powered by the Totally New MAZDA6 is the 10th round of the 2008 American Le Mans Series. The 1,000-mile/10-hour race is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. Saturday, October 4 from Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. SPEED will televise the race live with online video available from 1 to 6:30 p.m. ET on americanlemans.com. XM Satellite Radio will air live race coverage throughout the day on XM Channel 166. Live coverage from American Le Mans Radio will be available at americanlemans.com, which also will feature IMSA's Live Timing & Scoring.

-credit: alms

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