Strong grids as series begins five-race stretch

BRASELTON, Ga. - The American Le Mans Series begins a stretch of five races in seven weeks this weekend and strong fields of professional sports car racing teams are expected for all of the events. Thirty-seven cars are on hand at Infineon...

BRASELTON, Ga. - The American Le Mans Series begins a stretch of five races in seven weeks this weekend and strong fields of professional sports car racing teams are expected for all of the events.

Thirty-seven cars are on hand at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., for this weekend's running of the Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma. Testing gets underway on Friday, with official practice and qualifying set for Saturday. The two-hour, 45-minute timed race starts at noon (PDT) on Sunday.

The series will move to Canada for the next two races, with 36 cars entered for the Aug. 1-3 running of Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres at Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, and 37 entered for the Aug. 15-17 Grand Prix of Mosport at Mosport International Raceway near Toronto. The recent Chevy Grand Prix of Atlanta at Road Atlanta started 35 cars only two weeks after many of those teams had competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France, and 55 cars started the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring that opened the season in March.

"At a time when many more-established racing series are struggling with low car counts, the American Le Mans Series is enjoying some of the strongest fields ever assembled for professional sports car racing in North America," said Scott Atherton, President and CEO of the ALMS. "It's not just the number of cars, but also the quality of the cars and teams that pleases us. These are truly world-class racing teams.

"In these challenging economic times, the fact that we have formal season-long commitments from more race teams this season than ever before speaks volumes for the health of the American Le Mans Series," he said. "We will continue to steer the course we have chosen for the future."

Following the swing through Canada, the American Le Mans Series will be at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., Aug. 22-24 and then at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., Sep. 5-7.

Four classes of American Le Mans Series sports cars will compete in the Infineon Grand Prix of Sonoma, presented by the Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa and Foster's Lager. The field will include the fast and exotic Prototypes of the P900 and P675 classes, as well as the production-based cars of the GTS and GT classes.

The race will be broadcast live by the American Le Mans Series Radio Web online at www.americanlemans.com. NBC Sports will have live television coverage in North America beginning at 4 p.m. (EDT).

Ticket information is available online at www.infineonraceway.com or by calling the Infineon Raceway ticket office at 1-800-870-RACE.

-alms-

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