GOOD NEWS KEEPS COMING IN AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES Braselton, Ga. - It has been a dynamic year for the American Le Mans Series. Announcements of new teams, new manufacturers, new corporate partners and new markets have been steady and constant...
GOOD NEWS KEEPS COMING IN AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES
Braselton, Ga. - It has been a dynamic year for the American Le Mans Series. Announcements of new teams, new manufacturers, new corporate partners and new markets have been steady and constant for more than 12 months.
What started with Mazda's return to world-class professional sports car racing and the Porsche factory's return to prototype racing last spring has come full circle with Acura's announcement Wednesday about its entry into the Series starting in 2007. When the Acura-powered LMP2 race car debuts at the 55th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring next year, another elite marque will be added to the American Le Mans Series grid.
Totaling the participation of auto, tire and engine brands, more than 20 world-class manufacturers are expected to compete in the Series for the 2007 season, a number that is far and away the most diverse collection among any racing series in the world. The quality and quantity of manufacturers present in the Series is at an all-time high. That proves that the Series' platform of showcasing leading-edge, relevant technology on the global stage works, said President and CEO Scott Atherton.
"A year ago, we said the pipeline of content in the American Le Mans Series was refilling. One by one, that claim is coming true," Atherton said. "The recent commitments we have received from such world-class manufacturers like Audi, Porsche, BMW, Lexus, Ferrari and now Acura proves that the American Le Mans Series is the premium brand of motorsports."
A little more than a year ago, the American Le Mans Series was building off a thrilling season opener at Sebring that included Mazda's revelation that it would be back in professional sports car racing with a debut at the Grand Prix of Atlanta. That April weekend Porsche, already a strong partner of the Series, also announced its intentions to compete in P2 with Penske Racing for the full 2006 season.
Since that time, the additions of elite manufacturers and world-class teams have come at a steady clip. First came the news of BMW's return to the Series full-time with BMW Team PTG. A few days later, Lexus announced that its factory team - Team Lexus - was bound for the American Le Mans Series in 2006. In addition, Multimatic Motorsports Team Panoz joined the Series for all 10 races with two Panoz Esperante GTLMs.
The good news kept coming with the news of the revolutionary diesel-powered Audi R10 TDI, a symbol of leading-edge technology that made its world race debut by winning at Sebring. It will compete in the second half of the American Le Mans Series following the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Other items of note include new AER-powered Lola B06/10s for Dyson Racing (which sold its previous cars to fellow P1 teams Autocon Motorsports and Highcroft Racing), a new Radical SR9 for van der Steur Racing that is scheduled to debut at Petit Le Mans, Risi Competizione's latest GT2 challenger in the Ferrari F430GT, and a pair of Aston Martin DBR9s and Saleen S7Rs for the GT1 class.
Most recent of course is Acura, which like the Series prides itself on advanced technology and world-class innovation.
"There is a reason why the world's most elite group of manufacturers want to compete here," Atherton said. "No other racing series in the world can match the diversity of premium manufacturers that are present in the American Le Mans Series. While many motorsports series have evolved to become 'spec,' with identical cars, engines, tires and other elements, we continue to embrace innovation and the development of leading-edge technology. This doesn't apply to just our automobile manufacturers. There is also a collection of premier, world-class tire manufacturers - Michelin, Kumho, Pirelli, Yokohama and others - which are relentlessly competing with each other in every category. There isn't another series in the world that provides the level of diversity and direct competition that the American Le Mans Series delivers.
"We have unprecedented positive momentum," Atherton added. "With our group of teams, manufacturers, corporate partners, event organizers and fans - plus the best television package we have ever had - the American Le Mans Series is going to gain even more momentum. On top of the outstanding announcements that were made Wednesday, the good news is our best days are yet to come!"