** The American Le Mans Series will conclude its 12-race 2000 season with the running of the "Race of a Thousand Years" in Adelaide, Australia, on Dec. 31. The six-hour race will be run on the famed Adelaide street circuit that formerly hosted Formula One events.
The race will determine ALMS driver, team and manufacturer championships, and all will be honored at an awards banquet in Adelaide on Jan. 1.
The Adelaide race will be televised by NBC Sports on a same-day, tape-delay basis from 2-4 p.m. (U.S. Eastern time), and will be seen live on Eurosport. The ALMS Radio Web will have live coverage online at www.americanlemans.com.
** Dana Moore of El Cajon, Calif., was the surprised recipient of the "Most Improved Driver" award for the 2000 Women's Global GT Series at its season-ending awards banquet Sunday night at Race Rock in Las Vegas. The award winner is selected by WGGTS officials.
Moore finished ninth in the WGGTS point standings and is one of only a few drivers to have competed in all 12 races held since the series was founded in 1999. She finished 12th in the 1999 points.
Moore won her first career pole in the 2000 season by leading qualifying at Road Atlanta in September, and set a Sebring track record by setting the fastest lap during the race held at that famed facility in March. She scored her best career finish of fifth in the season-ending Las Vegas event on Oct. 29.
"It was a hard-fought year with many ups and downs," said Moore. "I would qualify well and have great starts and then something would go wrong. There are so many factors to winning in racing, and they all have to come together on the same day. The award I got this year was a great honor. But now I look forward to next year and want to bring home the big trophy."
** The Saleen/Allen Speedlab Team, which debuted its new GTS-class car at the Laguna Seca ALMS event last month, skipped the Las Vegas race but announced that England's Olivier Gavin will be joining the team next season.
Gavin, former Formula One test driver and British Formula 3 Champion, will compete with Terry Borcheller, Ron Johnson and Tommy Kendall in the entire 2001 ALMS schedule.
Speedlab opted to skip the Las Vegas race and spend the weekend testing at another facility. "We accomplished our goal of benchmarking the S7R at Laguna Seca," said Speedlab Team Director Daryl Cozens. "Now we need more time to test the various racing components so that we're well-prepared for next year."
** Porsche Motorsports cleared the air at last weekend's Las Vegas event by saying that it has no racing plans for two new models.
The Porsche "supercar" prototype, with a 5.5-litre V-10 engine, was shown at Paris Auto Show, and the manufacturer also recently introduced a new 911 Turbo. Although there have been inquiries from interested parties, neither model will be raced in the near future.
** WGGTS driver Divina Galica has become quite popular with the mechanics who prepare the Panoz Esperante race cars that are used by all of the drivers in the series.
Galica, who says she doesn't collect trophies, gives her trophy for first-place finishes to the lead mechanic on her car at each race. She scored one win in 1999 at Road Atlanta, and then won earlier this year at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C.
She also won the season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last weekend, and earned the runner-up spot in the series standings. She gave her second-place series trophy to mechanic Brian Dale, and then presented her race-winning trophy to Chris Serafin, Manager of the WGGTS, as an award of appreciation from all drivers on the series.
** The Coopers Brewery Team Home Brew contest came to a head at Las Vegas as the home brew efforts of the ALMS teams were judged. The teams had been given a Coopers Home Brew kit at the Petit Le Mans and were encouraged to brew, bottle and label their own beer.
The grand prize for the contest: an "all you can drink" crew party at the Coopers Brewery in Adelaide, Australia, as part of the Race of a Thousand Years in December. The beers were judged by Las Vegas-based microbreweries for the flavor, aroma and complexity.
Creativity was rampant with brews such as "Kyser Beer Eh?", Audi's "Affelbescher Quick Crew Brew 2000," BMW Team Schnitzer's "Workaholic" and "Podium," BMW PTG's "Bimmer Dark."
After careful consideration, the selected brew and celebratory party was presented to the crews of Tom Milner's BMW PTG team for their "Check The Splitter Bitter."
QUICK NOTES: Bentley has announced plans to field a Prototype for the 2001 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Drivers for the new team will be announced soon .... WGGTS driver Terri Hundertmark became Terri Popielarz when she married longtime fiancee Dave Popielarz Monday in Las Vegas. Her husband is the crew chief for the Mo Nunn CART team .... WGGTS drivers Dana Moore and Niki LaRue will race Spec Fords in this weekend's San Diego Grand Prix ....