BRASELTON, Ga. (March 6, 2002) -- The SPEED Channel has named its announcers and production company for its coverage of five rounds of the American Le Mans Series in the 2002 season. Formerly known as Speedvision, the cable network relaunched with...
BRASELTON, Ga. (March 6, 2002) -- The SPEED Channel has named its announcers and production company for its coverage of five rounds of the American Le Mans Series in the 2002 season. Formerly known as Speedvision, the cable network relaunched with a new name, look and format on Feb. 11.
Motorsports veterans Rick Benjamin (anchor), Bill Adam (analysis), Jon Beekhuis (lead pit reporter) and Amanda Stretton (pits/features) will announce the action as the network begins its third season of American Le Mans Series coverage with the 50th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, presented by Dodge, on March 16. The race will air live from start to finish.
SPEED Channel will also have live coverage of ALMS events at Sears Point Raceway, Sonoma, Calif., (May 19), Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio, (June 30), Le Circuit Trois-Rivieres, Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada (Aug. 3) and the season-ending Audi presents Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta (Oct. 13).
Benjamin was anchor for NBC Sports' coverage of ALMS races in 2001. His work has appeared on nearly every American cable sports network, including the ESPN networks, TNN and Fox Sports Net. He hosted the former "Raceday" program on TNN for several years and has worked race telecasts of stock cars, sports cars, open-wheel cars and short track cars. Benjamin was a fixture on Speedvision in 2001, both as an anchor for the network's coverage of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and as host of its Sunday night news program.
Adam, a two-time class winner in the Sebring 12-hour classic, has been an analyst on American Le Mans Series telecasts on NBC Sports for the past several years. He also did some Trans-Am Series telecasts last year on CBS. Some of his greatest success as a driver came in the famous Group 44 Jaguar in the mid-1980s.
Beekhuis will be new to the SPEED Channel, but is certainly not new to television. The 1988 Indy Lights champion, Beekhuis has been a pit reporter for coverage of CART and IRL events on ABC and ESPN for several years, as well as an analyst on the popular "RPM2Night" program. The first American to win the Indy Lights championship, Beekhuis has also raced in CART, IMSA, Formula Ford, British Formula 3, SCCA Super Vees and Formula Atlantic.
Stretton is familiar to fans of the American Le Mans Series for her work as a pit reporter on the ALMS Radio Web. She has been a popular figure on Britain's Channel 4 for several years, working as a presenter on motorsports telecasts, and has also presented on Eurosport, the Travel Channel and Silverstone TV. She is also an active racer, competing in England's ASCAR Mintex Cup.
Wheeler Television of Charlotte, N.C., will produce the telecasts of all 10 rounds of the series in 2002. In addition to the five races that will air on SPEED Channel, three events will air on NBC Sports and two on CBS Sports. Jim Roller will produce the telecasts on SPEED Channel and Gary Clem will be the director.
Because of the length of the Sebring race, five additional announcers will work the SPEED Channel telecast from the Florida circuit. Ralph Sheheen will relieve Benjamin on play-by-play, with Jeremy Dale to relieve Adam as analyst. Calvin Fish, Derek Bell and Alain de Cadenet will report from the pits during the telecast.