Ian James Named Rookie of the Year in American Le Mans Series James, a native of England who now lives in Orlando, Fla., followed in the tire tracks of Germany's Marco Werner, who was also a champion and the top rookie driver in the ALMS in the...
Ian James Named Rookie of the Year in American Le Mans Series
James, a native of England who now lives in Orlando, Fla., followed in the tire tracks of Germany's Marco Werner, who was also a champion and the top rookie driver in the ALMS in the same season. Werner was the 2003 LMP1 class champion and the inaugural recipient of the rookie award.
"I'm very honored to receive this award," said James, 30, who drove for Miracle Motorsports during his first full season of ALMS competition. "I love this series and I love these cars. I'd love to come back next year. This is the greatest show in motorsports. It was a great opportunity to do this with the American Le Mans Series."
James' rookie season started when he and team owner John Macaluso drove to the LMP2 class victory in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring along with third driver Mike Borkowski in a Lola B2K/40-AER. The win put James in the class driver points lead and he led the rest of the season.
After Sebring, fellow series rookie James Gue became James' co-driver for the rest of the season and the pair recorded their first victory together in the ALMS event held at Connecticut's Lime Rock Park. Later in the season, Macaluso purchased a new Courage C65 chassis and James was fastest qualifier in the car's debut race at Road America. He and Gue went on to win, James' third victory of the season.
James was also fastest LMP2 qualifier for the season-ending event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. He was honored for the rookie award with an original painting by renowned motorsports artist Jim Swintal.
Junior Series, where he was championship runner-up in 1994. In 1995, he contested the Skip Barber Eastern Series in the USA and won four of the first six races before an accident ended his season. James also raced for several seasons in British Formula 3.
Prior to the 2004 season, James had competed in three ALMS races, including two in the GT class in the 2000 season and one LMP1 start in 2003. His best ALMS finish had been seventh in the GT class at Sebring in 2000.