Notes of interest week of 2001-04-10

ENGLISH EVENT SET FOR SATURDAY -- Numerous American Le Mans Series racing teams have transported their cars and equipment across the sea to England for this weekend's inaugural European Le Mans Series event at England's Donington Park. Practice...

ENGLISH EVENT SET FOR SATURDAY -- Numerous American Le Mans Series racing teams have transported their cars and equipment across the sea to England for this weekend's inaugural European Le Mans Series event at England's Donington Park.

Practice and qualifying will be held Friday and the two-hour, 45-minute race will be run on Saturday beginning at noon (British Summer Time).

In the United States, NBC Sports will have some-day television coverage of the event beginning at 4 p.m. (EDT). The race will be televised live in the United Kingdom on the SKY Sports Channel.

Live coverage by Radio Le Mans can be heard online at www.americanlemans.com.

PANOZ TEAM READY FOR DONINGTON -- With its disappointing day last month at Sebring behind it, the Panoz Motor Sports team is ready to roll in this weekend's Donington Park event for the European Le Mans Series.

For the Panoz drivers, Donington offers a chance to score good finishes and take some points back to the American Le Mans Series to wipe out the poor finishes that both cars had in the 12 Hours At Sebring. The Donington event is one of two events on the ELMS schedule that are "optional" for ALMS teams, and the points earned can be used to replace a poor finish in one of the eight North American rounds of the ALMS this season.

The Panoz team has relocated from its home base in Georgia to temporary quarters in Britain and will be away from home for the next three months. Between now and the June 16-17 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the team will visit Belgium, France and Spain in the course of its race and test program.

The team has been working hard since Sebring on the continuing development program towards Le Mans. Several modifications have been made for the Donington race, including a new alternator drive system and modifications to the steering system. The results of further development work will not be seen until nearer the 24 Hour event.

Jan Magnussen and David Brabham will co-drive one of the Panoz LMP 07 machines, while the other will be shared by Klaus Graf and Gualter Salles.

ALEX JOB TEAM LOOKING FOR INSURANCE -- The Alex Job Racing/McKenna Porsche team has finished 1-2 in the GT class in both ALMS events held so far this year and is leading the series point standings. However, the team has shipped its cars and equipment to England and will compete in this weekend's event at Donington Park to gather insurance against what could happen later in the season.

ALMS teams can compete in the European Le Mans Series races at Donington and at Jarama, Spain, on May 20. The points earned in one of the two races can be used to replace a poor finish in one of the eight North American races that will determine the 2001 ALMS championship.

"We don't really have that big of a lead in the point standings, and we can't sit at home and watch the BMWs finish one-two at these European events," said team owner Alex Job. "The M3 V-8 gave us all we could handle at Sebring, and we need to battle them at every race to score the most possible championship points."

Job pointed out that his driver, Sascha Maassen, the ALMS point leader with 56, is only 16 points ahead of seventh-place Jorg Muller, who will be in one of the fast BMW M3s at Donington.

"If Muller could win Donington uncontested, and we didn't score any points by staying home, BMW could use those points later in the season to offset any DNFs or poor finishes they might have, and that could cost us the championship," he said.

Job's team won the 1999 ALMS driver's championship with Cort Wagner. In addition to Maassen, who has won the first two events paired with Lucas Luhr, the Job driver lineup for 2001 includes Christian Menzel and Randy Pobst. The team is competing in the new Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

QUICK NOTES -- ALMS driver Ron Fellows has been chosen in his hometown of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, as "Professional Athlete of the Year." He will be honored at the city's annual Sports Awards Dinner & Auction on June 8, right before he leaves for France to drive for Corvette Racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans .... ALMS regular Kyser Racing has joined the field for this weekend's ELMS race at Donington Park. The team will field a Porsche 911 GT3 RS for drivers Joe Foster, Jeff Pabst and Kye Wankum .... The new Westward Racing Group has also joined the Donington field with a Panoz LMP-1 Prototype for drivers Peter Boss and Jay Cochran .... The European Le Mans Series official website will debut prior to this weekend's Donington Park event. The address is www.europeanlemans.com .... ALMS GT class point leader Sascha Maassen of Germany, already a busy driver, has added the Carrera Cup in Europe to his schedule. He will drive for tolimit motorsport in Carrera Cup races that do not conflict with his ALMS or Porsche Supercup schedule, starting April 22 at Hockenheim, Germany ....

-ALMS-

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Series ALMS
Drivers David Brabham , Gualter Salles , Jan Magnussen , Peter Boss , Klaus Graf , Ron Fellows , Jorg Muller , Sascha Maassen , Jeff Pabst , Joe Foster , Alex Job , Christian Menzel , Jay Cochran , Cort Wagner
Teams Corvette Racing , Alex Job Racing