BRASELTON, Ga. (October 5, 2001) -- Four exciting new venues, a revived endurance racing format with longer races and a new television partner highlight a 10-event schedule for the 2002 American Le Mans Series season, series officials have ...
BRASELTON, Ga. (October 5, 2001) -- Four exciting new venues, a revived endurance racing format with longer races and a new television partner highlight a 10-event schedule for the 2002 American Le Mans Series season, series officials have announced. The American Le Mans Series, which features sports car endurance races based on the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans, will be in its fourth season in 2002. The new venues for the American Le Mans Series in 2002 include one of North America's finest permanent road racing facilities, Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., as well as one of its most established and successful street racing events, Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres in Quebec, Canada. In addition, new events in the key major markets of Washington, D.C., and Miami will be held on temporary racing circuits as part of the series schedule, with the Miami race the rebirth of what was one of the most significant street racing events in the world. The Miami and Road America events will be televised live in the United States by CBS Sports, the first time that the popular television network will carry American Le Mans Series programming. NBC Sports, which has televised ALMS racing in all three years of the series' existence, will also carry two events, while six will be broadcast by the Speedvision Network, another partner of the series since its inception. International broadcast rights for ALMS races are currently under negotiation. The series will open and close with its two longest events. The 50th running of the Mobil1 12 Hours at Sebring (Fla.) will open the schedule, with the fifth annual Audi presents Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta to close the season. The Petit Le Mans runs for 1,000 miles or 10 hours, whichever comes first. The series will return to three other traditional road racing circuits which have been a part of the series since it began in 1999, including Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.; Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ont., Canada; and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. In addition, the series will return to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, which hosted its first ALMS race in 2001. A new emphasis will be placed on an endurance racing format for 2002, with four-hour races at Sears Point, Mid-Ohio, Mosport and Laguna Seca. This format replaces the two-hour, 45-minute sprint races that had been the standard length for many ALMS events. The new event at Road America will be a distance event of 500 miles, while the new Miami, Washington, D.C., and Trois-Rivieres races will be three hours in length. "We couldn't be more pleased with the tracks and promoters that we have forged relationships with for the 2002 season," said Scott Atherton, President and COO of the Panoz Motor Sports Group. "The combination of world-class venues, major markets and an outstanding television package makes this one of the finest schedules and best values in motorsports," he said. "In three short years, the American Le Mans Series has evolved into a top property for promoters, manufacturers, competitors and, most importantly, for fans." In addition to the 10 North American races which will determine the American Le Mans Series championships, Le Mans Series racing will also be seen in Asia as the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia hosts the Le Mans Series Race of Champions in November. The six-hour race will be a special invitational event. The American Le Mans Series will continue its relationship with the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), organizers of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The series schedule will include a gap of five weeks in May and June to allow racing teams to compete at Le Mans, which will be held June 15-16. All ALMS races in 2002 will be officiated and sanctioned by IMSA (formerly known as Professional Sports Car Racing), which has sanctioned the series since its inception.
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