Petit Le Mans/ALMS preview notes

** The American Le Mans Series will return to action with the running of the Petit Le Mans, Presented by Audi, on Saturday, Sept. 30, at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. The 12-turn road racing circuit will host one of the biggest sports car...

** The American Le Mans Series will return to action with the running of the Petit Le Mans, Presented by Audi, on Saturday, Sept. 30, at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. The 12-turn road racing circuit will host one of the biggest sports car endurance races in North America as ALMS drivers and cars will race for 1,000 milles, or 10 hours, whichever comes first.

The third annual Petit Le Mans gets the green flag at 12:30 p.m. (Eastern time) on Sept. 30. The entire race will be televised live on Speedvision and broadcast on the ALMS Radio Web at www.americanlemans.com.

Provisional qualifying for the Petit Le Mans will be held on Thursday, Sept. 28, with final qualifying on Friday, Sept.29. Friday's schedule will also include a 45-minute race for the Women's Global GT Series.

Other support series that will run during the weekend include the celebrity-filled Beetle Cup, as well as the Speedvision World Challenge, the Star Mazda Series, the Barber Dodge Pro Series and the USF2000 Series.

Ticket information is available at 1-800-849-RACE, or online at www.roadatlanta.com.

** Before jumping into their race cars for the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, thirty-three ALMS drivers will take time out of their busy week to play a round of golf for charity.

The Chateau Elan Community/Eagle Ranch Golf Tournament, in association with Petit Le Mans, will be held on Monday, Sept. 25, at the prestigious Legends course loacted at the Chateau Elan resort near Braselton, Ga. All of the proceeds from the event will be donated to the new girl's program at Eagle Ranch, which provides housing and care for abandoned and orphaned children.

The tournament includes 32 foursomes, each partnered with a race driver. Drivers from the Prototype, GTS and GT classes of the ALMS are participating, as well as drivers from the Women's Global GT Series.

** Sixteen drivers from the American Le Mans Series and Women's Global GT Series will be signing autographs for fans at the Mall of Georgia, located on the north side of Atlanta, from 5-6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 22.

In addition to the appearance by the drivers, several ALMS and WGGTS race cars will be on display at the mall starting at 4 p.m. Popular Atlanta radio station 96Rock will be broadcasting live from the site from 4-6 p.m. and will hold contests so that lucky listeners can win chances to race against ALMS drivers in racing simulators located inside the mall.

Among the drivers scheduled to be on hand are ALMS drivers Bill Auberlen, Doc Bundy, Kevin Buckler, Brian Cunningham, Jean-Marc Gounon, Klaus Graf, Hiroki Katoh, JJ Lehto, Shane Lewis, Johnny Mowlem, David Murry, Johnny O'Connell and Hans Stuck. They will be joined by WGGTS drivers Divina Galica, Terri Hundertmark and Cindi Lux.

** Women's Global GT Series driver Audrey Zavodsky of New Boston, Mich., won a Ford Spec Racer event last weekend at Gingerman Raceway in South Haven, Mich. The race, sanctioned by the Chicago Region of the SCCA, had a 25-car field.

After starting second, Zavodsky traded the point during the race with polesitter Bob Gregory before taking the lead for good with two laps remaining. The win put her two points ahead of her nearest challenger for the Overall Cen-Div Regional Championship with one race weekend remaining.

QUICK NOTES: ALMS driver Bill Auberlen appeared on the CBS Early Show this past Monday with a BMW V12 LMR art car that will be raced in the Petit Le Mans .... A Panoz LMP-1 Roadster ALMS car is on display in Atlanta's CNN Center this week. The Atlanta Thrashers of the NHL will play an exhibition game Thursday night in nearby Phillips Arena and will have a special display with the car .... The Petit Le Mans and the ALMS will be represented at Sunday night's NFL game between the Atlanta Falcons and St. Louis Rams at the Georgia Dome. Information about the event will be played on the big screens at the indoor stadium, and a race car will be on display before the game and at halftime. Fans will have the opportunity to win tickets .... Sonja Bayer, winner of two races on the WGGTS this season, has recently become an instructor at the Panoz Driving School located at Road Atlanta .... Melissa Grunnah of Charlotte, N.C., national sales manager for On Track magazine, will make her racing debut in the Women's Global GT Series at Road Atlanta ....

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Series ALMS
Drivers Shane Lewis , Klaus Graf , Johnny O'Connell , Bill Auberlen , Kevin Buckler , Hiroki Katoh , Brian Cunningham , Johnny Mowlem , Jean-Marc Gounon , Doc Bundy , Audrey Zavodsky , Cindi Lux , Divina Galica , JJ Lehto