Sears Point preview

Le Mans winners lead American Le Mans to Sears Point SONOMA, Calif. (July 16, 2001) -- Victorious drivers and cars from the recent running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will lead the American Le Mans Series back into action this weekend at Sears ...

Le Mans winners lead American Le Mans to Sears Point

SONOMA, Calif. (July 16, 2001) -- Victorious drivers and cars from the recent running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will lead the American Le Mans Series back into action this weekend at Sears Point Raceway for The X-Factor Grand Prix of Sonoma.

The starting field at Sears Point will include the three drivers who took the overall win at Le Mans for the second straight year last month, as well as two drivers who scored a class win for an American manufacturer and team.

The X-Factor Grand Prix of Sonoma will be the first race for the American Le Mans Series since March as the series set a break in its schedule to allow teams to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Sunday's two-hour, 45-minute sports car endurance race will be televised live in the United States by NBC Sports.

The powerful Audi Sport North America team, which swept first and second at Le Mans, heads the Sears Point entry with two Audi R8 racers. Le Mans winners Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro will drive one of the cars, while current ALMS points leader Rinaldo Capello will be paired with Tom Kristensen in the other. Kristensen co-drove with Biela and Pirro to Le Mans glory in both 2000 and this year.

Also at Sears Point will be Corvette Racing drivers Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell, who drove to the GTS class win at Le Mans. The victory was the culmination of several years of work and development by General Motors and Corvette. The Germany-based Seikel Motorsport team, which took the GT class win at Le Mans, will also compete at Sears Point.

The factory Audis will be challenged at Sears Point for the overall win by the private Champion racing Audi, which recently added former Formula One winner Johnny Herbert to its driver lineup. A pair of Cadillac Prototypes and two factory Panoz Roadsters will also fight for the overall win.

The GTS Corvettes will face competition from the two-car American Viperacing team, with its Dodge Vipers, and the Sebring-winning Saleen S7R of Konrad Team Saleen.

One of the hottest battles will be between BMW and Porsche in the GT class for production-based cars. The formidable BMW Motorsport team, featuring ex-Formula One and CART star JJ Lehto, will try to help BMW gain its first ALMS win of the year. The Alex Job Racing/McKenna Porsche team won the first two ALMS rounds in March.

Ticket information for The X-Factor Grand Prix of Sonoma is available online at www.searspoint.com, or by calling 1-800-870-7223.

In addition to the live television coverage, race fans around the world can listen to the live race broadcast by the American Le Mans Series Radio Web online at www.americanlemans.com. Televised highlights of the race will be shown a week after the event on Eurosport. <pre> ENTRY LIST - THE X-FACTOR GRAND PRIX OF SONOMA

LMP 900 1, Rinaldo Capello, Italy; Tom Kristensen, Denmark; Audi Sport North America, Audi R8. 2, Frank Biela, Germany; Emanuele Pirro, Italy; Audi Sport North America, Audi R8. 7, Christophe Tinseau, France; Emmanuel Collard, England; Team Cadillac, Cadillac LMP 01. 8, Wayne Taylor, Altamonte Springs, Fla.; Max Angelelli, Italy; Team Cadillac, Cadillac LMP 01. 37, Jon Field, Dublin, Ohio; Rick Sutherland, Los Gatos, Calif.; Intersport Racing, Lola B2K/10-Judd 38, Andy Wallace, England; Johnny Herbert, England; Champion Racing, Audi R8. 50, Jan Magnussen, Denmark; David Brabham, Australia; Panoz Motor Sports, Panoz LMP-1. 51, Klaus Graf, Germany; Franck Lagorce, France; Panoz Motor Sports, Panoz LMP-1.

LMP 675 11, Mel Hawkins, Scottsdale, Az.; Steve Knight, Castle Rock, Col.; Roock-KnightHawk Racing, Lola B2K/40-Nissan. 57, Milka Duno, Venezuela; Didier de Radigues, Belgium; John Graham, Canada; Dick Barbour Racing, Reynard 01Q-Judd.

GTS 3, Ron Fellows, Canada; Johnny O'Connell, Flowery Branch, Ga.; Corvette Racing, Chevrolet Corvette C5-R. 4, Andy Pilgrim, Delray Beach, Fla.; Kelly Collins, Corona del Mar, Calif.; Corvette Racing, Chevrolet Corvette C5-R. 26, Franz Konrad, Germany; Terry Borcheller, Phoenix, Az.; Konrad Team Saleen, Saleen S7R. 44, Tom Weickardt, Whitefish Bay, Wis.; Gene Martindale, Vincennes, Ind.; American Viperacing, Dodge Viper GTS-R. 45, Jeff Altenburg, Cantonsville, Md.; Shane Lewis, Jupiter, Fla.; American Viperacing, Dodge Viper GTS-R.

GT 6, Boris Said, Carlsbad, Calif.; Hans Stuck, Austria; BMW Team PTG, BMW M3 GTR. 10, Bill Auberlen, Hermosa Beach, Calif.; Niclass Jonsson, Sweden; BMW Team PTG, BMW M3 GTR. 15, Randy Wars, Mexico; Grady Willingham, Birmingham, Ala.; Dick Barbour Racing, Porsche 911 GT3-R. 22, Randy Pobst, Melbourne, Fla.; Christian Menzel, Germany; Alex Job Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 RS. 23, Sascha Maassen, Germany; Lucas Luhr, Germany; Alex Job Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 RS. 30, Johnny Mowlem, England; Timo Bernhard, Germany; Michael Peterson, las Vegas, Nev.; Peterson Motorsports; Porsche 911 GT3 RS. 42, JJ Lehto, Finland; Jorg Muller, Germany; BMW Motorsport, BMW M3 GTR. 43, Dirk Muller, Germany; Fredrik Ekblom, Sweden; BMW Motorsport, BMW M3 GTR. 52, Philip Colin, Lincolnshire, Ill.; Tony Burgess, Canada; Seikel Motorsport, Porsche 911 GT3 RS. 66, Kevin Buckler, Sonoma, Calif.; Tyler McQuarrie, Walnut Creek, Calif.; The Racer's Group, Porsche 911 GT3 RS. 67, drivers TBA, The Racer's Group, Porsche 911 GT3 RS. 69, Kye Wankum, Canada; Jeff Pabst, Canada; Kyser Racing, Porsche 911 GT3-R.

-ALMS-

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Series ALMS
Drivers Andy Wallace , Milka Duno , Shane Lewis , Johnny Herbert , David Brabham , Rinaldo Capello , Didier de Radigues , Tom Kristensen , Dirk Müller , Jan Magnussen , Franz Konrad , Frank Biela , Boris Said , Klaus Graf , Ron Fellows , Johnny O'Connell , Andy Pilgrim , Emmanuel Collard , Wayne Taylor , Franck Lagorce , Christophe Tinseau , Jorg Muller , Bill Auberlen , John Graham , Randy Pobst , Tony Burgess , Jon Field , Sascha Maassen , Kelly Collins , Lucas Luhr , Kevin Buckler , Terry Borcheller , Dick Barbour , Timo Bernhard , Max Angelelli , Steve Knight , Jeff Altenburg , Rick Sutherland , Johnny Mowlem , Tom Weickardt , Tyler McQuarrie , Jeff Pabst , Randy Wars , Grady Willingham , Corona del Mar , Alex Job , Christian Menzel , Emanuele Pirro , JJ Lehto
Teams Corvette Racing , Alex Job Racing