American Teams, Drivers Competing at Le Mans This Weekend BRASELTON, Ga. (November 7, 2003) -- The 2003 season for the American Le Mans Series ended a few weeks ago, but two American-based teams from the series and five American drivers are in...
American Teams, Drivers Competing at Le Mans This Weekend
BRASELTON, Ga. (November 7, 2003) -- The 2003 season for the American Le Mans Series ended a few weeks ago, but two American-based teams from the series and five American drivers are in France this weekend to compete in a special event at the famous home of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Le Mans 1000km sports car endurance race will be run Sunday on the Bugatti circuit, a 4.18-kilometer (2.6-mile) road racing course that includes portions of the 8-mile track used for the annual running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The race will be the official launch of the new Le Mans Endurance Series, a series of Le Mans-style sports car races to be run on European circuits next year.
JML Team Panoz and Intersport Racing are the two American-based racing teams competing in the event. JML Team Panoz, based in Braselton, Ga., is running a Panoz GTR1 Coupe known as the "Batmobile" in the race with drivers Olivier Beretta of Monaco and David Saelens of Belgium. Beretta and Saelens drove for JML Team Panoz in the 2003 ALMS season.
Intersport, based in Dublin, Ohio, is running two Prototype race cars in the event. Clint Field of Dublin, Ohio, Rick Sutherland of Los Gatos, Calif., and John Graham of Canada are driving a Riley & Scott MkIIIC-Elan in the Prototype 900 class.
Fresh from their LMP 675 class win in the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, the race that ended the ALMS season, Intersport's drivers in a Lola EX257-Judd in the LMP 675 class are Jon Field of Dublin, Ohio, Duncan Dayton of North Salem, N.Y., and Larry Connor of Centerville, Ohio.
Several European-based teams that regularly competed in American Le Mans Series races in 2003 are also competing in the Le Mans 1000km this weekend, including the PK Sport Porsche 911 GT3 RS (GT class) and the Ferrari 550 Maranellos of Care Racing Development (GTS class). Also in the field are Konrad Motorsports, which entered a Saleen S7R in the GTS class, and Seikel Motorsport, which entered a Porsche in the GT class. Both teams raced in multiple ALMS events in 2003.
The Le Mans 1000km is a qualifying race for the 2004 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which will be run June 12-13. The starting field for the 24 Hours of Le Mans is determined by the selection committee of the Automobile Club d l'Ouest (ACO), organizer of the event.
The American Le Mans Series is based on the 24 Hours of Le Mans and operates on an agreement with the ACO. Because of the special relationship that exists between the ALMS and the ACO, race teams that regularly compete in ALMS events receive special consideration in the selection process for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The 2004 season for the American Le Mans Series begins with the 52nd annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway March 15-20.