RACE: Mid-Ohio weekend of racing preview

Midwestern Debut Of American Le Mans Series Highlights Newest Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Event DUBLIN, Ohio (August 15, 2001) - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will host a weekend full of road racing action, Aug. 24-26, when the American Le Mans...

Midwestern Debut Of American Le Mans Series Highlights Newest Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Event

DUBLIN, Ohio (August 15, 2001) - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will host a weekend full of road racing action, Aug. 24-26, when the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and Trans-Am Series join a Neohio Region SCCA National at the 2.25-mile, 13-turn permanent road course in Lexington, Ohio for the inaugural American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio.

The event was made possible after cancellations to both the ALMS and Trans-Am schedules earlier this season. The addition of this newest event to six existing events makes this summer the busiest ever in Mid-Ohio's 40 Years of Racing.

The ALMS makes its Mid-Ohio debut on Saturday, Aug. 25 at 2:00 p.m. EDT during an endurance-format, 2 hour and 45 minute race that will feature some of the same machines that compete in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans in France. Exotic Le Mans Prototypes by manufacturers such as Audi, Panoz, Riley & Scott and Lola will join Grand Touring machines like Dodge Vipers, Chevrolet Corvettes, Ford Mustangs and Porsche 911 Turbos for an interclass, "race within a race" battle. The Mid-Ohio event marks the Midwestern debut of the two-year-old, Don Panoz-backed series.

""I think (Mid-Ohio) is a beautiful circuit, and there are some very deceiving parts of the track," said Rinaldo Capello, the Italian driver leading the ALMS point standings in an Audi R8 Prototype. "I think the most important thing will be to get a good rhythm, but that will be difficult in the ALMS traffic."

The Trans-Am Series, which last competed at Mid-Ohio in 1999 when Paul Gentilozzi claimed the victory, will again take the green flag for a 100-mile battle on Saturday, Aug. 25, at 4:15 p.m. EDT. Trans-Am is the longest running road racing series in North America and first competed at Mid-Ohio in 1967 when Jerry Titus won driving a Ford Mustang. The 2001 race is the 22nd time Trans-Am has competed at Mid-Ohio.

Complementing Saturday's two pro races will be a Neohio Region SCCA National on Sunday, Aug. 26. Eight sprint-format races featuring amateur drivers competing for a berth to the national championship Valvoline Runoffs® at Mid-Ohio will offer a great preview of the season-ending event. The Neohio Region SCCA National gives fans a chance to see everything from showroom stock sedans to open-wheel machines.

In addition to the great weekend action, an All-ALMS Driver Autograph Session is set for Saturday morning from 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Drivers scheduled to appear include Audi teammates Frank Biela, Rinaldo Capello, Tom Kristensen and Emanuele Pirro, Dyson Racing teammates James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger, Panoz team members David Brabham, Klaus Graf, Frank Lagorce and Jan Magnussen, and Dublin, Ohio residents Clint, Jon and Joel Field. Nearly 70 ALMS competitors in total will attend.

For tickets to the American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio or for more information, please call 1-800-MID-OHIO or visit www.midohio.com <http://www.midohio.com>.

-MOSCC-

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About this article
Series ALMS , SCCA , Trans-Am
Drivers David Brabham , Rinaldo Capello , Tom Kristensen , Jan Magnussen , Frank Biela , Butch Leitzinger , Don Panoz , Emanuele Pirro
Teams Dyson Racing