The excitement is building

Bicester, UK, Friday 12th February 2001 - from John Macdonald, Executive Director, ELMS: With the start of the sportscar season almost upon us it seems an appropriate time to provide a progress report on the European Le Mans Series and our ...

Bicester, UK, Friday 12th February 2001 - from John Macdonald, Executive Director, ELMS: With the start of the sportscar season almost upon us it seems an appropriate time to provide a progress report on the European Le Mans Series and our preparations for the season.

In recent weeks we have been inundated with enquiries from potential entrants and this is now reflected in the quality and quantity of confirmed entrants such as the much publicised Audi R8 of Johansson Racing. The Gulf-sponsored Audi will no doubt be a contender for the Series as the Company look to add another chapter to its glorious sportscar heritage. The Audi will definitely not have all its own way and stiff competition is assured, not least from the two works and two ex-works Panoz. Public interest will be further stimulated by the array of new cars including two brand new LMP 675's and two works BMW M3's.

Our discussions with teams and manufacturers is on-going and within the next few weeks I would expect to announce a full grid for the first race at Donington.

Clearly as a result of the success of the American Le Mans Series and last years fantastic race at Silverstone we are starting from a position of relative strength in terms of public and team interest. Teams and their sponsors are also greatly enthused by the significant prize fund and start money as well as a very impressive TV package. Our races will be televised live on Sky throughout the season with edited highlights on Sky and Eurosport. At Donington the United States will receive same day coverage of the race on the NBC network.

The decision of Avon Racing, one of the World's premier tyre manufacturers, to support the series and entry enquiries about 2002 provides further evidence that the European Le Mans Series has a very healthy future.

-ELMS

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