New lights show fans race postions

BRASELTON, Ga. (October 5, 2001) -- The American Le Mans Series will introduce a revolutionary car position light system designed to help fans in attendance at events better understand and follow the progress of races. The system will make...

BRASELTON, Ga. (October 5, 2001) -- The American Le Mans Series will introduce a revolutionary car position light system designed to help fans in attendance at events better understand and follow the progress of races. The system will make its debut on a limited basis in Audi presents Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on Oct. 6. Some of the GT class cars in the Road Atlanta event will be equipped with three lights attached to the passenger sides of the cars. The lights will indicate first, second and third place in class. One lit light denotes the class leader, while two lit lights indicate the car that is running second in class. When all three lights are illuminated, the car carrying the lights is the third-place car. "One of the truly unique and beautiful elements of endurance sports car racing is the fact that there are many exciting battles going on at any given time among the various classes of cars," said Scott Atherton, President and COO of the Panoz Motor Sports Group. "However, that has also been our curse because after the first few laps of a race, it's nearly impossible to tell which car is leading which class. This revolutionary system will solve that problem forever. "Our motto is that the American Le Mans Series is 'For the Fans,' and as part of our ongoing commitment to the fans, we want to make it easy to see just which cars are leading within each class of competition," he said. "To answer this, we have created a simple, clear way that fans may see what is happening at any time and place on the circuit. This initiative is solely for the fans." The system will work directly from the official timing and scoring system, operating on telemetry sent from timing and scoring computers to assure accurate and timely updates. If passes are made on the track for one of the top three positions, the lights will change when the cars cross the start-finish line. Atherton said that development of the system is still in progress, and that decisions about full implementation in the future will be made at a later date. As the system spreads to all four classes within the ALMS, the classes will be identified by lights of different color, with the colors matching the colors of the identifying car number panels which are already in place to identify car classes.

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Series ALMS