TEXAS OPENER DRAWING NEAR: The 2001 American Le Mans Series season will open with the Leather Center Grand Prix of Texas at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth on Sunday, Mar 4. Tickets for the event are available online at ...
TEXAS OPENER DRAWING NEAR: The 2001 American Le Mans Series season will open with the Leather Center Grand Prix of Texas at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth on Sunday, Mar 4. Tickets for the event are available online at www.texasmotorspeedway.com, or by phone at (817) 215-8500. The race will be televised live by Speedvision and the ALMS Radio Web broadcast can be heard at www.americanlemans.com.
SPRING TRAINING AT ROAD ATLANTA: American Le Mans Series cars and drivers will be in action for two days of testing at Road Atlanta as the famed Georgia road course will open its gates to teams Feb. 17-18. Teams will use the testing time to tune their equipment for the Leather Center Grand Prix of Texas at Texas Motor Speedway on Mar. 4 and the Superflo 12 Hours At Sebring, Presented by Dodge, at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway on Mar. 17. The two events will open the 2001 ALMS season. Road Atlanta will be open for testing from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17, with a lunch break from noon until 1 p.m. On Sunday, Feb. 18, testing will take place from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m., and then again from 12:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. Road Atlanta will host the Petit Le Mans for the ALMS on Oct. 6.
FIRST SEBRING SPECTATOR ALREADY IN LINE: The first spectator in line at the front gate at Sebring International Raceway arrived on Saturday, 40 days before the gates open for the Mar. 17 Superflo 12 Hours At Sebring, Presented By Dodge. Patrick Taylor of Palm Bay, Fla., drove up to the gate in his Saab at 3:50 p.m. Saturday, making him the first in the traditional line for the second straight year. Last year, Taylor was in line 35 days early, setting a record that he broke this year. By the morning that gates officially open, there will be hundreds of vehicles and thousands of spectators in line, all trying to get their favorite spot in unreserved trackside parking. Ken Breslauer, Sebring’s public relations director, said that many of those in line have been attending the race for years, and most make their stay in line a vacation with cookouts, fellowship with other campers, etc. This year’s event will be the 49th running of America’s oldest sports car race.
TEAMS ANNOUNCE 2001 PLANS: Several race teams have announced plans for the 2001 season within the last 10 days. A recap of some of the announcements: * Panoz Motorsports has announced that it will compete in every round of the ALMS in 2001, including those which combine with the European Le Mans Series at England’s Donington Park and at Jarama in Madrid, Spain. Three new Panoz LMP-1 07 cars have been built and it is expected that the team will be entering two cars for each race. Talks are also being held in Europe regarding the entry of a factory-supported Panoz in the ELMS. Drivers David Brabham, Jan Magnussen and Klaus Graf have been retained for the 2001 season, and a further announcement about the remaining members of the Panoz driver lineup will be made soon. * General Motors announced that it will field a two-car team of Corvette C5-R race cars in the majority of the races on the 2001 ALMS schedule. After several close calls, Corvette scored its first ALMS win in September of 2000 at Texas Motor Speedway, and then came back to win again in the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. The team will compete in the GTS class. The Corvettes will be run by the Pratt & Miller team of Wixom, Mich. In addition to competing in ALMS races, the team will also try for victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. * The Cadillac name will return to Le Mans in 2001, and an all-new team will field Cadillac Northstar LMP cars in five ALMS races beginning with the July 22 round at Sears Point Raceway in California. GM Racing has contracted with renowned race manager Jeff Hazell, designer Nigel Stroud and race driver/commercial director Wayne Taylor to join the Team Cadillac program. The team will work to develop an all-new Cadillac car for 2002, but will race in the 2001 events in reworked and updated existing model. * Two highly-anticipated announcements of driver lineups are expected within the week, including the Porsche drivers for 2001 and the drivers for BMW Team PTG. Both groups will compete in the GT class of the ALMS.
QUICK NOTES: Speedvision will televise three events in the new Panoz Racing Series. The three Pro Series events that will be held in conjunction with ALMS events at Sebring, Mosport and Road Atlanta will be televised on a tape-delay basis .... Professional Sports Car Racing managing director Doug Robinson said that the sanctioning body for ALMS events has added Corvette to the list of approved cars for the GT class k