2005 schedule announced

American Le Mans Series Announces 10-Race Schedule for 2005 with Three Pre-Le Mans Events BRASELTON, Ga. - The American Le Mans Series will run an expanded 10-race schedule of events in its sixth season in 2005, series officials have announced.

American Le Mans Series Announces 10-Race Schedule for 2005 with Three Pre-Le Mans Events

BRASELTON, Ga. - The American Le Mans Series will run an expanded 10-race schedule of events in its sixth season in 2005, series officials have announced. The new schedule includes the revival of a popular early-season sports car racing classic and the placement of three races prior to the series' traditional schedule break for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The schedule will include return engagements at all nine venues that hosted the series in 2004, encompassing most of North America's classic permanent road racing facilities. In addition, a 10th race has been added to the schedule, reviving an April event at Road Atlanta that for many years was an important part of sports car racing's annual calendar.

After opening with the 53rd annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, North America's oldest and most prestigious sports car race, Mar. 17-19, the series will run the added Road Atlanta event the weekend of April 15-17, then visit Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, May 20-22.

The first three races will be run before the series breaks to allow teams to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France, the world's most famous endurance race and the event upon which the ALMS is based. The Automobile Club de l'Ouest, organizer of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, moved the traditional Le Mans test date from late April to the first weekend in June, two weeks before the weekend of the race, to allow the ALMS to hold additional events early in the season.

The change of the 24 Hours of Le Mans schedule also allowed the ALMS to space its events more evenly for the 2005 schedule with only one instance of races being run on consecutive weekends.

Following the running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the ALMS will return to action two weeks later with a July 1-4 event at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn., before crossing the USA for a July 15-17 event at California's Infineon Raceway. The series will remain on the West Coast but take a week off before running at Portland (Ore.) International Raceway July 29-31.

After a two-weekend break, the series will race at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., Aug. 19-21 and then race again the next weekend with an Aug. 26-28 event at Canada's Mosport International Raceway.

The ALMS will return to Road Atlanta for the eighth annual Chevy presents Petit Le Mans Sept. 29-Oct. 1, with the season coming to a close the weekend of Oct. 14-16 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif.

All 10 races will be televised by either CBS Sports or the SPEED Channel.

"We feel that the 2005 American Le Mans Series schedule will be popular with fans and competitors," said Scott Atherton, President and CEO of the ALMS.

"We owe a great deal of thanks to Mr. Jean-Claude Plassart, the new President of the ACO, and his fine staff for reducing the schedule for the 24 Hours of Le Mans," he said. "This has permitted us to assemble a schedule that includes three events early in the season and some breathing room for race teams and the series through the summer.

"We also appreciate the operators of the nine racing facilities hosting our events next season," said Atherton. "We are working with some of the finest event promoters in motorsports and we look forward to another great American Le Mans Series season in 2005."

About the American Le Mans Series

The American Le Mans Series is a series of North American sports car races based on the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world's most famous endurance race. American Le Mans Series races feature four classes of race cars competing for class wins and the overall win, with the fields including many of the same drivers and cars that compete at Le Mans. The series holds events at many of North America's premier permanent road racing facilities. The series motto is "For the Fans" and all events feature driver autograph sessions, open paddocks and unprecedented access for fans. All events are on television in the United States. Well-known automotive brand names such as Audi, Corvette, Dodge, Ferrari, Lamborghini, MG, Nissan, Panoz, Porsche and Saleen are represented on the series. The series, which has its headquarters in Braselton, Ga., was founded in 1999 by entrepreneur Don Panoz and is sanctioned by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA).

The 2005 American Le Mans Series Races with Television Schedule

Mar. 19 - 53rd annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sebring (FL) International Raceway, 12 hours (SPEED Channel).

Apr. 17 - Road Atlanta, Braselton, GA, 2 hours 45 minutes (CBS)

May 22 - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, OH, 2 hours 45 minutes (CBS).

July 4 - Lime Rock Park, Lakeville, CT, 2 hours 45 minutes (SPEED Channel).

July 17 - Infineon Raceway, Sonoma, CA, 2 hours 45 minutes (CBS).

July 31 - Portland (OR) International Raceway, 2 hours 45 minutes (SPEED Channel).

Aug. 21 - Road America, Elkhart Lake, WI, 2 hours 45 minutes (SPEED Channel).

Aug. 28 - Mosport International Raceway, Bowmanville, ON, Canada, 2 hours 45 minutes (SPEED Channel).

Oct. 1 - Chevy presents Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta, Braselton, GA, 1,000 miles or 10 hours (SPEED Channel).

Oct. 16 - Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, CA, 4 hours.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Don Panoz