Series notes 2001-07-03

** SEARS POINT NEXT FOR ALMS -- After a gap of more than four months in the schedule, the American Le Mans Series will return to action with The X-Factor Grand Prix of Sonoma at California's Sears Point Raceway on Sunday, July 22. The...

** SEARS POINT NEXT FOR ALMS -- After a gap of more than four months in the schedule, the American Le Mans Series will return to action with The X-Factor Grand Prix of Sonoma at California's Sears Point Raceway on Sunday, July 22.

The 2.52-mile, 11-turn road racing circuit north of San Francisco has hosted events for the ALMS in both previous years of the series' existence. The race will be televised live in the United States by NBC Sports, with highlights to be shown a week later on Eurosport. In addition, live coverage can be heard from the American Le Mans Radio Web online at www.americanlemans.com.

Practice and qualifying will be held on Saturday, July 21, with the two-hour, 45-minute race to start at noon (Pacific time) on Sunday.

** KRISTENSEN, JOHANSSON AT GOODWOOD -- Drivers Tom Kristensen and Stefan Johansson will demonstrate the highly-successful Audi R8 Prototype at this weekend's Goodwood Festival of Speed in England.

Kristensen, who recently won his third 24 Hours of Le Mans, drives in the American Le Mans Series for Audi Sport North America. He and co-driver Rinaldo Capello won the ALMS season opener at Texas Motor Speedway in March.

Johansson drives his own Gulf Audi on the European Le Mans Series, sister series to the ALMS. Johansson's team is one of two private teams racing the Audi R8 this season.

The Goodwood Festival of Speed, which grows bigger every year, attracts cars and car lovers from throughout the world. Many great racing cars of the past are displayed at the festival, and the cars are often taken on demonstration runs by the drivers who helped make them famous. The event is open to the public.

** ALMS CARS TO DRIVE ACROSS GOLDEN GATE -- Six American Le Mans Series cars will drive across San Francisco's famous landmark in the "Buckle-Up Drive Across the Golden Gate Bridge" on Wednesday, July 18.

The drive is intended to raise awareness of the importance of seat belt use while driving a motor vehicle and will occur a few days before The X-Factor Grand Prix of Sonoma at nearby Sears Point Raceway.

"I think this will be one of the most exciting moments of my life," said Hans Stuck, the legendary European endurance racer who competes in the ALMS for BMW Team PTG.

"I've driven Formula One cars at many of the world's circuits, but to drive a race car across one of the most famous bridges in the world is something I can't describe. My heart is beating faster now just thinking about it. I am proud for myself and BMW."

Fans are encouraged to meet the drivers and view their exotic sports cars at Vista Point at the North Tower on the Marin County side of the Golden Gate Bridge beginning at 10 a.m. on July 18. The California Highway Patrol will be on hand to administer complimentary seat belt safety checks. The parade will begin at 11 a.m. from Vista Point and ten travel across the bridge and through the streets of San Francisco before winding up at Ghirardelli Square.

After a brief press conference, the drivers will head to the courtyard at Ghirardelli Square for another meet-and-greet and autograph session with the fans beginning at 1 p.m.

** NEW CORVETTE TEAM FOR ALMS, ELMS -- Atomic Kitten Racing, owned by Roger Walters and based in England, will field Corvettes in the remaining European Le Mans Series races this season, as well as selected American Le Mans Series events.

The team will travel to America for the Mid-Ohio round of the ALMS in August, as well as the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta and the season-finale at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C., both in October. In addition, the team plans to compete in the combined ALMS-ELMS in Malaysia in November.

Named for the British pop music group Atomic Kitten, the racing team will start with a Corvette purchased from Trinkler Racing and used earlier this year at Texas and Sebring. Cars built by Pratt & Miller, which fields the factory Corvette team in the ALMS, will join the team lineup next month.

The first race for the team will be the ELMS event at Estoril, Portugal, on July 15.

** ALMS CARS TO ROAR IN DOWNTOWN PORTLAND -- The downtown area of Portland, Ore., will come alive with the sites and sounds of American Le Mans Series race cars on Thursday, August 2, three days before the Grand Prix of Portland at nearby Portland International Raceway.

The "Drive Through Portland" event will begin at 11 a.m. as several ALMS cars drive on city streets for a 12-block run through the center of Downtown Portland. The cars will drive to Pioneer Courthouse Square, where they will then be displayed until 2 p.m.

As part of the festivities, ALMS drivers will meet fans and sign autographs from noon until 1 p.m., giving workers on lunch breaks in the downtown area the chance to see the cars and drivers.

The Grand Prix of Portland gets the green flag at 1 p.m. on Sunday, August 5.

-ALMS

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