** PUBLIC DRIVER BRIEFING A HIT AT SEBRING -- The American Le Mans Series held its first "open to the public" driver briefing at the recent Sebring event and the reception from fans was very positive. Officials of IMSA, the sanctioning body for...
** PUBLIC DRIVER BRIEFING A HIT AT SEBRING -- The American Le Mans Series held its first "open to the public" driver briefing at the recent Sebring event and the reception from fans was very positive.
Officials of IMSA, the sanctioning body for the ALMS, conduct briefings for drivers at all ALMS events. In a move designed to give fans a more "inside" look at the sport, officials decided to hold this year's race day briefings in an open setting.
Dennis Huth, the President of IMSA, said many fans spoke to him after the meeting at Sebring.
"People came up and thanked me," he said. "One fan said it was a dream come true to be able to attend the meeting, and another was happy to have the chance to see his favorite driver sitting at what had previously been a closed meeting."
Fans who want to attend the driver briefing at an ALMS event will be able to hear PA announcements at the track with the time and location (usually early on race morning), or they can ask any IMSA official.
** MIAMI RACE WINS IN ONLINE POLL -- The upcoming American Le Mans Series event in Miami received overwhelming support in a recent online poll conducted by a Miami television station.
Of nearly 2,000 votes cast on the question of "should Grand Prix racing return to the streets of downtown Miami?" there was a 90 percent positive response. Miami NBC-TV affiliate WTVJ-TV hosted the poll on its website.
The Grand Prix of the Americas will be run on Saturday, October 5, marking the return of street racing to Miami for the first time since 1995. The American Le Mans Series will be paired with CART in a unique, double-headliner weekend of racing. The CART FedEx Championship Series event will be run the next day. The Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup will also run an event on the same day as the ALMS race.
Event ticket information is available online at www.miamirace.com.
** FELLOWS LAUNCHES KARTING CHAMPIONSHIP -- In an effort to help young Canadian drivers and build the future of the sport, American Le Mans Series star Ron Fellows has launched a youth go-kart racing championship in his native Canada.
The 10-race championship, which will take place from May through September, is sponsored by Sunoco, a longtime backer of Fellows' racing activities. The events will take place on five karting tracks located in the Province of Ontario.
Fellows, who drives for Corvette Racing on the American Le Mans Series, began his 2002 season by co-driving to victory in the GTS class in the recent Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Dodge.
The Ron Fellows Karting Championship Series will have four classes, separated by horsepower, speed and driving ability. Each class will have two separate races on each weekend. The minimum age for participants will be 11 for the junior series and 15 for the senior category.
** SEARS POINT TO HOST NEXT ALMS EVENT -- Round Two of the 10-race American Le Mans Series championship for 2002 will be the Grand Prix of Sonoma at California's Sears Point Raceway on Sunday, May 19.
The cars of the ALMS will run a timed event of two hours and 45 minutes on the twisting, hilly circuit of 2.52-miles located north of San Francisco. The race will begin at 1 p.m. (Pacific) and will be televised live by the SPEED Channel.
Ticket information for the Grand Prix of Sonoma is available online at www.searspoint.com or by calling the raceway ticket office at 1-800-870-RACE.
** QUICK NOTES -- Alex Job Racing has a good streak going at Sebring International Raceway. The team's GT class win in the ALMS season opener was its third in the last four years in the 12-hour event and came in the team's 14th consecutive year of fielding a Porsche in the traditional race ^Å. The 16 American Le Mans Series teams that will be participating in the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be at the Circuit de la Sarthe for practice on May 5. The 70th running of the famed event is June 15-16 ^Å. Panoz Motor Sports drivers David Brabham, Jan Magnussen and Bill Auberlen answer email questions from fans on this week's "Motor Sports Weekly" television show on the Fox Sports Net.