Petit Le Mans Friday notes

by Pat Jennings - Motorsport.com IMSA is back. Well, not really. But it was officially announced this afternoon that IMSA would replace Professional Sports Car Racing as the sanctioning body of the American Le Mans Series in 2002. "I never...

by Pat Jennings - Motorsport.com

IMSA is back. Well, not really. But it was officially announced this afternoon that IMSA would replace Professional Sports Car Racing as the sanctioning body of the American Le Mans Series in 2002. "I never could distinguish the difference between IMSA and Professional Sports Car Racing," explained ALMS founder Don Panoz.

After the IMSA announcement, the ALMS revealed its 2002 schedule. In 2002, the ALMS will feature ten races at a number of traditional road course venues, including Sebring, Mid-Ohio, and Road America. According to Panoz, the decision to incorporate a combination of natural terrain road courses and a couple of strategically selected street courses (Miami and Washington, D.C.) into their 2002 schedule will cement the legitimacy of the ALMS. In addition, Panoz reiterated the ALMS's devotion to its sponsors and competitors. With this in mind, Panoz hopes that his 2002 schedule will create the right platform for the ALMS.

Panoz also revealed that the ALMS would introduce a revolutionary light system in 2002 that will allow fans to keep track of the leaders in each class. In order to assure accurate and continuous updates, the system will operate based on telemetry sent from timing and scoring computers.

Apparently, talks regarding the future, or lack thereof, of the European Le Mans Series are still in progress due to the fact that many of key players have spent the past several months putting together the 2002 ALMS schedule.

In light of recent events, the Race of Champions at Malaysia's Sepang International Circuit, which had been scheduled for November 11, 2001, will now take place on January 13, 2002.

On another note, the series organizers explained that they do not anticipate making any changes to the present (not to mention confusing) ALMS point system.

Finally, Panoz confirmed that the ACO and the FIA are currently discussing new rules for 2004 with various manufacturers and teams. Rumor has it that most of those discussions pertain to the safety requirements of the LMP cars. Although it is rather difficult to pin point what the kinds of safety measures the ACO and the FIA may institute, it seems likely that LMPs will once again have to feature full-width roll hoops.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Don Panoz