BRASELTON, Ga., April 2, 1998 -- The 1998 Petit Le Mans 1000 Miles at Road Atlanta will be held on Saturday, October 10, 1998. Practice and qualifying will be held on Friday, October 9, 1998.
The "Petit Le Mans 1000 Miles at Road Atlanta" is part of an exclusive five-year agreement between L'Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) and Panoz Motor Sports. Its goal is to increase the interest of U.S. automakers and race fans in sports car endurance racing by exposing them to some of the world's most exotic race cars.
Winners of the three classes of the 1998 Petit Le Mans 1000 Miles at Road Atlanta (Prototype, GT-1, and GT-2) will be exempt from pre-qualifying for the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans. Second-place finishers will be invited to pre-qualify.
"Le Mans is the greatest endurance race in the world, and has caught the imagination of every sports car racer and manufacturer," says Don Panoz, founder of Panoz Motor Sports. "We're thrilled to be a part of this historic agreement which brings the ACO -- and Le Mans -- to America. We intend to revitalize the appeal of endurance racing," says Panoz, "by increasing American participation in the sport. This effort includes hosting the Petit Le Mans 1000 Miles at Road Atlanta, and competing with our Panoz GTR-1 cars in the historic 24 Hours of Le Mans."
"L'Automobile Club de l'Ouest is proud to reach an agreement with Road Atlanta," says ACO president Michel Cosson. "We hope the coming event is a success for both parties." In addition, Cosson announced that the agreement would be used to establish closer ties between Atlanta and Le Mans.
According to ACO delegate Alain Bertaut, this agreement has been a long-term goal for the organizing body. "For years the ACO has been searching for an appropriate North American partner," says Bertaut. "We are delighted that our agreement with Don Panoz will enhance the image of endurance racing globally, especially the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France, and the Petit Le Mans in the U.S."
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