Brussels, December 16, 2000 - The final round of the 2000 American Le Mans Series will take place on December 31, with a six-hour sportscar endurance event in Adelaide, Australia. The race will start at 4 p.m. and finish at 10 p.m., giving teams and drivers just enough time to prepare for a New Year extravaganza.
The Viper GTS R/T has won four international championships, including two ALMS GTS-class titles in 1999 and 2000, and the FIA GT Championship in 1998 and 1999. Under the direction of Hugues de Chaunac and his France-based ORECA team, the factory-backed Viper finished first and second at Le Mans for the third time in succession, and scored an outright victory at the 2000 Rolex 24 hours of Daytona.
Olivier Beretta, who won all four drivers' championships, shares the number 91 car with Karl Wendlinger - last year's joint FIA GT champion and Beretta's co-driver in the ALMS this year - and Dominique Dupuy. The trio have delivered Dodge its most prestigious endurance racing awards including two Le Mans wins, victory at Daytona and the 12 hours of Sebring.
Ni Amorim, the Portuguese with impressive Viper experience, will join Jean-Philippe Belloc in the second car (no. 92). The Frenchman competed the 1999 FIA GT Championship, winning three times and finishing third behind Beretta and Wendlinger in the championship.
The six-hour race around the 2.36-mile Adelaide track, the only street course on which the ALMS has ever raced, will produce a guaranteed entry into next year's Le Mans 24 Hour race. It also qualifies for the three-out-of-four bonus program that will see the ORECA team scoop $475,000 if it wins in Australia, following victories at Sebring and Le Mans.
"It would be nice to get the bonus as a New Year present!" said ORECA's Sporting Director Pierre Dieudonne. "Some extra money would be welcome at a time when we are pushing our LMP project. Nobody can predict what may happen in Australia. Our approach to the Race of a Thousand Years will be as usual: We shall be out there to do the best job possible. This is why we are in the sport, and the bonus might help us to be even more into it!"