American Le Mans to hold Open House, Pit Walk for fans at Road Atlanta event. BRASELTON, Ga. (June 10, 2003) -- In an effort to offer additional and unique access for race fans, the American Le Mans Series will have a paddock Open ...
American Le Mans to hold Open House, Pit Walk for fans at Road Atlanta event.
BRASELTON, Ga. (June 10, 2003) -- In an effort to offer additional and unique access for race fans, the American Le Mans Series will have a paddock Open House and a Pit Walk for fans during the weekend of the Chevy Grand Prix of Atlanta June 27-29 at Road Atlanta.
Both activities will be sponsored and promoted in the Atlanta area by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper (AJC).
"The American Le Mans Series was created for the fans, and that has been our series motto and a belief that we live by every day," said Scott Atherton, President and CEO of the ALMS. "While we know that our series already offers wonderful access for fans to paddock areas at the race tracks, we have been looking into ways to improve the 'up-close and personal' nature of what our series can do for the fans. We feel that these two aspects of the upcoming event at Road Atlanta will provide fans of our series an even better experience when they attend the event."
The AJC Autograph Party in the Paddock will combine two traditional aspects of an American Le Mans Series event weekend into an open house atmosphere, beginning at 11:50 a.m. on Saturday, June 28, and continuing until 1 p.m. The traditional driver autograph session held at each ALMS event will be staged in the paddock area, with drivers sitting at tables adjacent to their team paddock space. In addition, each race team will open its team transporter to allow fans to view inside, and each team will station at least two uniformed representatives to visit with fans and answer questions.
IMSA technical officials will also be stationed at the scrutineering area to answer questions from fans, and members of the IMSA Safety Team will also be available for fans.
"Fans can always walk through the paddock at our events, but the race teams are usually busy with preparing their cars and team members can't always stop to talk," said Atherton. "The fans will now have the opportunity to get driver autographs, see the team transporter and equipment close-up and talk to team representatives in a leisurely setting."
The AJC Pit Walk will bring a tradition of European motorsports to America, giving fans access to pit road, an area of the track that is normally off-limits even to those with a paddock pass. From 11 a.m. until noon on race day, Sunday, June 29, race fans will be permitted to walk pit road at Road Atlanta. All teams competing in the Chevy Grand Prix of Atlanta will have their race cars in their pit boxes on pit road during that time, and uniformed team members will be present to talk to fans, answer questions and assist with photos.
The American Le Mans Series Radio Web will be broadcasting over the Road Atlanta public address system during both activities, providing additional information and entertainment for the fans.
Atherton indicated that similar activities may be staged at American Le Mans Series races at other tracks during the 2003 season. "The paddock design and layout at Road Atlanta, with the ALMS paddock in a separate area and across the track from the support paddock, offers excellent logistics for this type of fan-friendly activity," he said. "We know the fans will enjoy it and we look forward to it."
The 2.54-mile Road Atlanta, located in Braselton, Ga., will also host Petit Le Mans on October 15-18, making it the only facility to hold two American Le Mans Series races in 2003. Petit Le Mans, a 1,000-mile endurance race, will be the season finale.
The track is currently offering a special, discounted "Two Event Ticket," as well as separate tickets to both events. Information is available online at www.roadatlanta.com or by calling 1-800-849-RACE (7223).