ALMS to open at Texas

FORT WORTH, Tex. (February 19, 2001) -- The American Le Mans Series for sports car endurance racing will kick off its third season of action with the Leather Center Grand Prix of Texas at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Tex., on...

FORT WORTH, Tex. (February 19, 2001) -- The American Le Mans Series for sports car endurance racing will kick off its third season of action with the Leather Center Grand Prix of Texas at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Tex., on Sunday, March 4. The weekend of action on the 2.324-mile road racing circuit will also open the speedway's fifth year of operation. The American Le Mans Series, created by entrepreneur Don Panoz in 1999, brings the flavor and excitement of the world-famous 24 Hours of Le Mans to North America in a series of events at premier racing facilities. Fans attending the TMS event will be able to enjoy pre-race pageantry highlighting the international aspect of the series, with race cars draped in the flags of their entrant's various nations. Later, some of the fastest and most exotic sports cars in the world will be turned loose for a two-hour, 45-minute battle on the circuit that incorporates part of the speedway's 1.5-mile, high-banked superspeedway with a twisting, turning infield course. In addition to the racing action, visitors will be able to enjoy a festive atmosphere including live music and four extreme carnival rides in the speedway's infield. Spectators will have the option of visiting the paddock and garage area to see the ALMS cars up close, and ALMS drivers will hold an autograph session for fans on Saturday of race weekend. Four classes of race cars compose the ALMS starting field, with all competing at the same time. The formula makes for exciting racing as the sleek, fast Prototype cars race against each other while also trying to pick their way through the slower GTS and GT classes, which are holding their own races for position. The races also feature driver changes, made quickly and in full view of the fans, as two and sometimes three drivers take turns behind the wheel during the race. The ALMS features racing versions of some of the world's most popular sports cars, including Audi, BMW, Callaway, Corvette, Panoz, Porsche and Viper. Internationally-known road racing stars such as Hans Stuck, David Brabham, Bob Wollek, Jan Magnussen, Rinaldo Capello and others will square off against North American standouts such as Dorsey Schroeder, Bill Auberlen, Boris Said and Canadian Ron Fellows. The weekend of action begins on Saturday, March 3, with practice and qualifying for the ALMS cars as well as the Speedvision World Challenge and Star Mazda machines. Sunday's action will not only include the ALMS race, which starts at 1 p.m. (CST), but three other races as well. Tickets for the Leather Center Grand Prix of Texas may be purchased online at www.texasmotorspeedway.com, through Ticketmaster or from the TMS box office at (817) 215-8500. Discount coupons are available in the Dallas-Fort Worth area at Leather Center stores, O'Reilly Auto Parts and Long John Silver's restaurants. Children ages 12 and under will be admitted free with a paying adult on both days of the weekend. The Leather Center Grand Prix of Texas will be televised live on the Speedvision Network at 2 p.m. (EST), and can be heard online through the American Le Mans Radio Web at www.americanlemans.com.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Rinaldo Capello , Jan Magnussen , Boris Said , Ron Fellows , Dorsey Schroeder , Don Panoz , Bob Wollek , John Long