American Le Mans Series teams prevalent in selections for 24 Hours of Le Mans. BRASELTON, Ga. (March 27, 2003) -- Racing teams that compete in the American Le Mans Series are prevalent on the list of 50 teams selected for the 2003 running of the...
American Le Mans Series teams prevalent in selections for 24 Hours of Le Mans.
BRASELTON, Ga. (March 27, 2003) -- Racing teams that compete in the American Le Mans Series are prevalent on the list of 50 teams selected for the 2003 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans that was announced Thursday by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), organizers of the famed endurance racing classic.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans will be run June 14-15 at the Circuit de La Sarthe in France. Teams that also competed regularly in the American Le Mans Series have won the event overall four straight years and have also scored numerous class wins.
Of the 50 selected teams, 32 were represented in the recent Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the event that opened the 2003 season for the American Le Mans Series, and at least 20 are expected to regularly compete in American Le Mans Series events in 2003. Because of the strong relationship that exists between the American Le Mans Series and the ACO, teams that regularly compete in American Le Mans Series events receive special consideration in the selection process for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Three of the invited teams received automatic berths in the 24 Hours of Le Mans due to their class wins in last year's Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, the final event of the American Le Mans Series season. The relationship between the Series and the ACO also includes designating the Petit Le Mans as a qualifying event for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The teams receiving automatic berths for winning at Road Atlanta last October include Corvette Racing, which has won the GTS class at Le Mans the past two seasons and will field two cars at Le Mans. Also included are Intersport Racing (LMP 675 class) and Alex Job Racing (GT class), both of which will be racing at Le Mans for the first time in 2003 and will field single-car entries.
Five teams that will regularly compete in American Le Mans Series events in 2003 have received invitations for the LMP 900 (Prototype) class, including the two-car JML Team Panoz entry (Panoz LMP01), Jim Matthews/Riley & Scott Racing (R&S MkIIIC-Yates), ADT Champion Racing (Audi R8) and the Sezio Florida Racing Team (Norma M2000-2-Ford). The class includes 16 cars.
The LMP 675 class for smaller Prototypes includes seven cars, with invitees Intersport Racing (Lola EX257-MG) and Team Bucknum Racing (Pilbeam MP91) also slated to run the full American Le Mans Series this season.
The two factory Chevrolet Corvette C5-R machines from Corvette Racing head the 10-car GTS class. In addition to the Corvettes, other teams in the class that will run the American Le Mans Series schedule include Carsport America (Pagani Zonda GR), Konrad Motorsport (Saleen S7R) and Veloqx Prodrive Racing with a pair of Ferrari 550 Maranellos.
Fifteen cars have been invited to compete at Le Mans in the GT class, with seven of them American Le Mans Series regulars. Leading the way is The Racers Group, which won the GT class at Le Mans last year with a Porsche 91 GT3 RS. The Job team, which won the GT class team championship in the American Le Mans Series last year, will also run a Porsche, as will Orbit Racing and Seikel Motorsport. Risi Competizione will run a pair of Ferrari 360 Modenas at Le Mans, while JMB Racing will run a single Ferrari.
Six cars have been chosen as Reserve Cars, including second entries from Konrad Motorsport, The Racers Group and Orbit. Five of the six Reserve Cars competed at Sebring earlier this month.
The 56 selected cars have been invited to take part in a special Pre-Practice session at Le Mans on May 4. The full list can be viewed at www.lemans.org.
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 as well as at temporary circuits in key major markets. The series motto is "For the Fans" and all events feature driver autograph sessions and open paddocks. All events are on television in the United States. Well-known automotive brand names such as Audi, Bentley, 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).