Miami: Drivers look forward to new street course challenge

MIAMI (September 28, 2002) -- In just a few days, race cars will return to the streets of Miami, and drivers in the American Le Mans Series are very much looking forward to visiting and racing in the thriving international city. The Cadillac ...

MIAMI (September 28, 2002) -- In just a few days, race cars will return to the streets of Miami, and drivers in the American Le Mans Series are very much looking forward to visiting and racing in the thriving international city.

The Cadillac American Le Mans Challenge, to be run at 4 p.m. (EDT) on Saturday, October 5, is part of Grand Prix Americas weekend that is returning racing to the streets of Miami for the first time since 1995. The Florida city hosted glorious street racing events for both sports cars and CART Champ Cars in the 1980s and 1990s.

Grand Prix Americas marks the historic first pairing of the two forms of racing on the same weekend at the same venue as co-features. The CART FedEx Championship Series cars will race on Sunday, along with an event for the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup.

The international flavor of sports car racing has always been a hit in Miami, and interest in South Florida is high as workers put the finishing touches on the 1.57-mile temporary street racing circuit that will host the racing weekend. The circuit, located in Miami's Downtown area, includes portions of Biscayne Boulevard and other streets, as well as sections of Bayfront Park.

"Miami is a sports car racing kind of town," said Bryan Herta, driver for Panoz Motor Sports in the American Le Mans Series. "The people are very cosmopolitan and international and that suits our type of racing just perfectly. I raced there in the last CART race on the streets in 1995 and it was great."

"We presented our new Audi at a press event there in 2000 and the reaction was unbelievable," said Tom Kristensen, ALMS points leader and driver for Audi Sport North America. "There are a lot of lively, fun people who will love street racing. With the bay and the ships and boats in the background, it will look like the Monaco Grand Prix."

"There's a lot of history with this event," said Sascha Maassen, leader of the GT class in the ALMS and driver of the Alex Job Racing Porsche. "It's new to our championship this year, but you feel the history of racing on the streets of Miami."

The American Le Mans Series, a series of North American sports car endurance races based on the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans, features four classes of race cars all competing at the same time. Two classes of sleek, exotic Prototype cars and two classes of production-based cars compete for class wins and the overall victory.

Racing teams will begin arriving at the circuit mid-week, with the cars of the ALMS to be the first on the circuit when practice starts at 8 a.m. Friday. ALMS qualifying will be held Friday afternoon, along with provisional CART qualifying. ALMS drivers will hold an autograph session on Saturday at noon.

The 4 p.m. race will be a timed event of two hours and 45 minutes. The SPEED Channel will televise the event live, and the American Le Mans Series Radio Web will have live coverage online at www.americanlemans.com.

Ticket information for Grand Prix Americas weekend is available online at www.miamirace.com or by calling 1-888-248-RACE.

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Tom Kristensen , Bryan Herta , Sascha Maassen , Alex Job
Teams Alex Job Racing