ALMS teams get special consideration in Le Mans Selection

INDIANAPOLIS (February 2, 2001) -- Race teams that field regular entries in the American Le Mans Series now have a stronger chance of being selected to compete in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans due to new regulations issued for the...

INDIANAPOLIS (February 2, 2001) -- Race teams that field regular entries in the American Le Mans Series now have a stronger chance of being selected to compete in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans due to new regulations issued for the 2001 race by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), the creator and organizer of the annual sports car endurance race in France. The starting grid for the 69th running of the race is limited to 48 cars, and the ACO Selection Committee has delayed its meeting until late March, following the first two races of the 2001 American Le Mans Series season. The later meeting will give the committee time to review which teams have competed in the two ALMS races. The 24 Hours of Le Mans will be run June 16-17. For the first time, the ACO has included "regular entries in American Le Mans Series events" as a criteria for the Selection Committee in choosing the 48 starters for the event. In addition, the traditional pre-qualifying for the event has been replaced by a Preliminary Practice session on May 6, meaning that a race team's ability to get into the event lies solely upon a decision by the Selection Committee. "This is a major endorsement from the ACO for the American Le Mans Series," said Scott Atherton, President and COO of the Panoz Motor Sports Group, which includes the ALMS and the European Le Mans Series. "This sends a loud and clear message to both our factory and privateer teams that running in the ALMS will give you an advantage if you want to compete at Le Mans." Making the connection between the ALMS and Le Mans even stronger is the fact that 12 of the 48 entries available for the 24 Hours of Le Mans have already been confirmed as a result of class winners in ALMS races held during the 2000 season that were designated as Le Mans qualifying events. The Selection Committee will have the difficult task of choosing the remaining 36 entries. The ALMS season opens with the Leather Center Grand Prix of Texas at Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth on March 4, followed by the Superflo 12 Hours At Sebring, Presented by Dodge, on March 17.

-ALMS

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Series ALMS , Le Mans