Trois-Rivieres event adds American Le Mans series

Cars from the 24 Hours of Le Mans will hit the streets of Trois-Rivieres, August 2-4. Atlantic series and Trans-Am championship will also be on the schedule. Trois-Rivières, Quebec, April 26, 2002 With series founder Don Panoz, one of the...

Cars from the 24 Hours of Le Mans will hit the streets of Trois-Rivieres, August 2-4.

Atlantic series and Trans-Am championship will also be on the schedule.

Trois-Rivières, Quebec, April 26, 2002 With series founder Don Panoz, one of the most influential people in motor racing on hand, Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières president Léon Méthot officially announced at a news conference today that the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) will be on the program for the 33rd edition of the event, August 2-4.

The North American series, which features the same cars that compete in the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans, will be making its first appearance in Quebec. The series boasts a number of high-profile drivers, including Australian David Brabham (in attendance at the media briefing), Johnny Herbert of Great Britain, Denmark's Jan Magnussen, Emanuele Pirro of Italy, American Bryan Herta and Canadian Ron Fellows.

"Over the years, we've never been afraid to be innovative in an effort to stand out from our competitors," explained Mr. Méthot. "The arrival of the American Le Mans Series will enable the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières to highlight the international nature of the event even more, not only because many European teams will be competing but also with the presence of several former Formula One and CART drivers who are very popular on both sides of the Atlantic."

Besides the debut of the American Le Mans series, this year's event marks the return after a two-year absence of the Trans-Am series. The series has undergone significant changes (namely with the introduction of mandatory pit stops) and the level of competition will appeal to long-time racing fans, as well as newcomers to the sport. As the rights-holder of both ALMS and the Trans-Am championship, Don Panoz is delighted that these two major series will be running in Trois-Rivières.

"The Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières has a unique place in the annals of motor racing," remarked Mr. Panoz, who also owns the Road Atlanta and Sebring race tracks in the United States and Mosport in Ontario. "The reputation of this sporting event on the international stage and the calibre of the series and drivers who have raced here over the last 30 years made this an ideal place for the American Le Mans Series to be. We're pleased to see that our teams are so enthusiastic about performing for such avid fans."

The action-packed schedule will be completed by a race in the CART Toyota Atlantic championship, two Speed World Challenge events (GT & Touring cars), as well as two Canadian Formula Ford (F1600) championship races.

Along with its efforts to enhance the international exposure of the event, the Grand Prix organizers are also maintaining their commitment to emerging talent, as a number of Quebec drivers will be competing in the various races on the weekend schedule.

"The Grand Prix has always been a springboard for home-grown drivers and that is still very much the case," added Mr. Méthot. "Additionally, the visibility provided by the American Le Mans Series puts Trois-Rivières on equal footing with such American cities as Miami and Washington who also put on ALMS races and there is no doubt this is going to generate significant economic benefits for the entire region."

Those who wish to purchase tickets for the 33rd edition of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières may do so by calling (819) 380-9797 or toll-free at 1-800-363-5051. For further information about the schedule of events and other services for spectators, please visit the Grand Prix web site at www.gptr.qc.ca

- Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières

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Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Jan Magnussen , Bryan Herta , Ron Fellows , Don Panoz , Emanuele Pirro