BRASELTON, Ga. (February 7, 2002) -- Follow the Lights, Follow the Action on the American Le Mans Series in 2002. The sports car endurance racing series will make it easier for fans to follow the action on the track this season through the use...
BRASELTON, Ga. (February 7, 2002) -- Follow the Lights, Follow the Action on the American Le Mans Series in 2002.
The sports car endurance racing series will make it easier for fans to follow the action on the track this season through the use of a revolutionary new position lights system, the first of its kind in motorsports. The lights will identify the top three cars in each of the four classes within the series and will be carried by all cars in all 10 races that make up the series schedule for 2002.
Introduced on a limited basis in the final ALMS race of 2001, the light system was designed to help alleviate an age-old problem in sports car endurance racing. Because of the difference in speed between the faster Prototypes and the slower GT cars that compete at the same time in events, it was often impossible after a few laps to tell what car was leading what class. While veteran sports car racing fans usually knew what was going on, new fans often missed exciting battles on the track. The light system will change that.
All cars will be equipped with three lights that are located in front of the rear wheel on both sides of the car. If a car is leading its class, one of the three lights will be lit. Two lights will be lit of the car is second in class, and three lit lights will indicate that the car is running third in class.
Each of the four classes of race cars will carry its own color of light, therefore making it possible to tell the class of the car as well as its position. Prototype 900 cars will carry red lights, while LMP 675 cars (smaller Prototypes) will carry blue lights. The lights on GTS cars will be green, and GT cars will have yellow lights.
The system works directly from the official timing and scoring system of IMSA, the sanctioning body for the series. The lights operate on telemetry sent from timing and scoring computers to assure accurate and timely updates. If passes are made on the track for one of the top three positions, the lights will change when the cars cross the start-finish line.
On an experimental basis, the American Le Mans Series introduced the system in the final race of the 2001 season, installing lights on a few cars in the GT class. During the off-season, the system has been tested and refined and is now ready for full use in the 2002 season.
The first race of the season will be the 50th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, presented by Dodge, at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway on March 16.