Notes of Interest 2003-09-23

AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES NOTES OF INTEREST ALMS TO BE IN MIAMI THIS WEEKEND - The American Le Mans Series will be in Miami this weekend for Grand Prix Americas presented by The event will be held on a temporary street racing...


ALMS TO BE IN MIAMI THIS WEEKEND - The American Le Mans Series will be in Miami this weekend for Grand Prix Americas presented by The event will be held on a temporary street racing circuit constructed in the Downtown area of Miami and including portions of Biscayne Boulevard, Bayfront Park and other Miami streets.

The ALMS will hold a two-hour, 45-minute event at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27. Practice and qualifying will be held on Friday. The ALMS race will be televised live by SPEED Channel with live coverage by the American Le Mans Series Radio Web online at

The sports cars of the American Le Mans Series and the Champ Cars of CART are sharing the unique "dual-headline" event known as the "Blast by the Bay." Event will also be held during the weekend for CART Toyota Atlantics and the MotorRock Trans-Am Tour.

TURNER TO SUB FOR MAGNUSSEN AT MIAMI - Due to a racing commitment made before he joined the Prodrive Ferrari team in June, Jan Magnussen will not drive in the American Le Mans Series Grand Prix Americas event this weekend in Miami

British driver Darren Turner, who drove for the Prodrive team earlier this year at Sebring and Le Mans, will substitute for Magnussen at Miami and co-drive with David Brabham. Magnussen and Brabham are on a two-race winning streak in the GTS class in American Le Mans Series competition.

I am really excited about driving the Ferrari 550 again as I really enjoyed Sebring and Le Mans in the car," said Turner. "It's nice to be working with Prodrive again, and I am really looking forward to driving alongside David Brabham, which will be a great experience.

"As far as Miami is concerned, it will be my first proper street race, but as the track is different than last year, I won't be the only one feeling my way around."

Magnussen will be racing in the Danish Touring Car Championship during the Miami weekend but will be back in the Prodrive Ferrari for the season-ending Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on Oct. 18. Tomas Enge and Peter Kox will continue driving the other Prodrive entry.

The Prodrive team has entered a third Ferrari 550 for the Petit Le Mans, listing Care Racing Development head Frederic Dor as one driver, with two others to be named.

ORBIT TO TEACH 'THINKFIRST' IN MIAMI - The Orbit Racing Team from the American Le Mans Series will visit the University of Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital Wednesday afternoon to bring a strong message of safe driving to a group of adolescent males.

The visit will be part of the American Le Mans Series' relationship with the ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation, which was named earlier this year as the series' official charity.

Driver Peter Baron of Deerfield Beach, Fla., and the Porsche 911 GT3 RS he will drive for Orbit Racing in this weekend's Grand Prix Americas event in Miami will be at the Ryder Trauma Center at 3:30 p.m., joined by Miami City Commissioner Johnny Winton, one of the key supporters of bringing street racing back to Miami.

Baron will give a safety talk and demonstration to students in Jackson's GATE program, keying on the importance of the usage of occupant restraints and helmets. Several of the students, who are at-risk males ages 12 to 18, will have the opportunity to strap into the racing car and see the safety equipment first-hand.

The GATE program is a Miami-Dade County funded after school, hospital-based program to expose the students to the consequences of poor choices and bad decision-making and what is can cost them and their families. They also learn how to improve life skills and manage their anger and frustrations.

Thirty-four students and chaperones from the program will attend Saturday's American Le Mans Series race and will be "Grid Kids," holding the entrant flag beside each car on the starting grid prior to the 4 p.m. beginning of the race.

The Orbit team is based in South Florida, with its headquarters in Jupiter, Fla.

BMW BACK IN ALMS AT MIAMI - The Miami-based Alegra Motorsports team and two Miami-area drivers will run a BMW M3 in the GT class in this weekend's Grand Prix Americas event in Miami.

Carlos de Quesada and Ross Bleustein will co-drive the #40, the first time that Alegra Motorsports and a BMW have competed in the ALMS since the season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. The race will mark the first-ever ALMS start for Bleustein, a native of New York City's Bronx who has experience in several other forms of road racing.

QUICK NOTES - Lucas Luhr has been on the winning team in the GT class in all five "temporary circuit" races that have been held since the formation of the American Le Mans Series. He won in 2000 at Adelaide, Australia, with co-driver Dirk Muller for Dick Barbour Racing, and his other four wins have come with current partner Sascha Maassen for Alex Job Racing (2002-03 Trois-Rivieres, 2002 Miami, 2002 Washington) --. JML Team Panoz driver David Saelens has also enjoyed success on street circuits. The Belgian is a two-time pole and race winner in the F3 race held at the Monaco Grand Prix and also won the pole for a Monaco F3000 event. His first ALMS podium finish came earlier this year in the street racing event at Trois-Rivieres --. ALMS drivers Gunnar Jeannette, David Saelens and Jason Workman will be judges in the finals of the "Miss Grand Prix Americas" pageant Wednesday night at Miami's Bayside Marketplace --. Scott Bradley of San Jose, Calif., who made his ALMS debut in the most recent race at Monterey, will again co-drive the Essex Racing Lola-Nissan at Miami and Petit Le Mans with Jason Workman --.


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Series ALMS
Drivers Carlos de Quesada , David Saelens , Tomas Enge , David Brabham , Dirk Müller , Jan Magnussen , Darren Turner , Sascha Maassen , Lucas Luhr , Peter Baron , Dick Barbour , Peter Kox , Gunnar Jeannette , Scott Bradley , Jason Workman , Frederic Dor , Ross Bleustein