St. Pete: Round two pre-race notes

A LOOK AT THE ST. PETERSBURG GRID The Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg returns to the fast and demanding 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit along the St. Petersburg waterfront for the second time after an impressive and ...

A LOOK AT THE ST. PETERSBURG GRID

The Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg returns to the fast and demanding 1.8-mile, 14-turn temporary street circuit along the St. Petersburg waterfront for the second time after an impressive and competitive debut a year ago. Now celebrating its 10th season, the Series has competed on a total of eight street venues in its history. St. Petersburg was one of three new ones in 2007 along with Long Beach and Belle Isle in Detroit.

Thirty-one of the 61 drivers entered for this year's Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg presented by XM Satellite Radio competed in the 2007 race. Five of them are defending class champions: LMP2 winner Sascha Maassen from Penske Racing, Corvette Racing's Olivier Beretta and Oliver Gavin, and Risi Competizione's Jaime Melo and Mika Salo.

Eighteen of the drivers entered have scored at least one class or overall victory in the eleven previous Series street races and achieved a total of fifty-five class or overall victories in the 11 races. Lucas Luhr and Sascha Maassen lead the entered drivers with six street wins each. Olivier Beretta, Oliver Gavin, Jaime Melo, Johnny O'Connell and Mika Salo each have four.

Sixteen drivers will make their first start in a Series street race: Gerardo Bonilla, Harrison Brix, Jonny Cocker, Paul Drayson, Christian Fittipaldi, Patrick Friesacher, Lou Gigliotti, Chris Hall, Robbie Pecorari, Doug Peterson, Patrick Pilet, Andrea Robertson, David Robertson, Scott Sharp and Tom Sutherland.

The Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg presented by XM Satellite Radio is scheduled for 1:25 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 5 from the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. The race will be broadcast on ABC from 1:30-3:30 p.m. ET on April 5. American Le Mans Radio coverage will be available on XM Satellite Radio Channel 144 from 5 to 8 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 6. Live American Le Mans Radio coverage will be available at americanlemans.com, which also will feature IMSA's Live Timing & Scoring.

-credit: alms

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Series ALMS
Drivers Chris Hall , Scott Sharp , Mika Salo , Christian Fittipaldi , Johnny O'Connell , Sascha Maassen , Lucas Luhr , Oliver Gavin , Jaime Melo , Lou Gigliotti , Patrick Friesacher , Olivier Beretta , Robbie Pecorari , Harrison Brix , Patrick Pilet , Tom Sutherland , Paul Drayson , Gerardo Bonilla , Andrea Robertson , David Robertson , Jonny Cocker , Doug Peterson
Teams Team Penske , Corvette Racing , Risi Competizione