ALMS cancels Charlotte, close to 2002 schedule

BRASELTON, Ga. (August 14, 2001) -- On the heels of the announcement of a new race in Washington, D.C., for 2002, as well as the strong probability of new events in Miami and elsewhere, officials of the American Le Mans Series have indicated that...

BRASELTON, Ga. (August 14, 2001) -- On the heels of the announcement of a new race in Washington, D.C., for 2002, as well as the strong probability of new events in Miami and elsewhere, officials of the American Le Mans Series have indicated that they are close to announcing the full series schedule for the 2002 season.

"We will have some more new venues," said Scott Atherton, President and COO of the Panoz Motor Sports Group, which includes the American Le Mans Series. "The upward mobility of the American Le Mans Series has attracted the attention of many of the great racing circuits in North America and the world, and we look forward to telling everyone where we will be racing in 2002 very soon."

Atherton said that series initiatives for 2002 include an emphasis on a true endurance sports car racing format with a return to classic sports car racing venues as well as strategic major market temporary circuits. The Washington event, to be run on July 21, 2002, will be on a temporary circuit constructed adjacent to RFK Stadium.

Due to the emphasis on venues for 2002, Atherton said that the series will not run the 2001 event that had been scheduled for Oct. 21 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C. The decision, he said, was prompted by direct input from series stakeholders, including teams, manufacturers and sponsors, collectively agreeing to "skip ahead to the new American Le Mans Series," he said.

The 2001 season will now end with the running of the Audi Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on Saturday, Oct. 6, which is one of the series' most successful and high-profile events. The series awards banquet will be held in the Atlanta area.

"We appreciate Humpy Wheeler, Doug Stafford, Harriet Carter and everyone at Lowe's Motor Speedway for their professionalism in recognizing our request for what it is and working with us to execute it," said Atherton. He added that those who had already purchased tickets for the event have the choice of a full refund or a "two-for-one" exchange for tickets to the Audi Petit Le Mans.

"While we are sad that the world's greatest sports car racing teams won't be competing at our facility this year, we certainly understand the direction that the American Le Mans Series is heading," said Stafford, Executive Vice-President of Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Following the Audi Petit Le Mans, action will then shift to the Far East, where the Le Mans Series Race of Champions, featuring top drivers and cars from both the American and European Le Mans Series, will be run at Malaysia's Sepang International Circuit on Nov. 11.

"The Audi Petit Le Mans is shaping up to have one of the best fields of race cars ever assembled for a sports car race in the United States," said Atherton. "And we have had a very positive response from American and European Le Mans Series teams about the event in Malaysia. We're looking forward to ending the 2001 season on very high notes, and then diving into our 2002 schedule with a vengeance."

-ALMS

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Series ALMS