50th Anniversary Sebring Event Draws Modern-Day Record Number of Entries; Officials Forced To Turn Entries away CLEARWATER, Fla. (February 27, 2002) -- The prestige and honor of competing in the 50th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, ...
50th Anniversary Sebring Event Draws Modern-Day Record Number of Entries; Officials Forced To Turn Entries away
CLEARWATER, Fla. (February 27, 2002) -- The prestige and honor of competing in the 50th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, presented by Dodge, and the ever-growing popularity of the American Le Mans Series have created a pleasant "problem" for officials of IMSA, the sanctioning organization for the race and the series.
By the February 25 entry deadline, IMSA officials received a modern-day record 67 official entries for the March 16 event at Sebring International Raceway, forcing the IMSA Selection Committee to choose the 60 cars that would be invited to participate in the race. The pit road at the 3.7-mile Sebring track can accommodate a maximum of 60 cars.
"The Selection Committee has a very difficult job," said Dennis Huth, IMSA President and a member of the committee. "Every entered car is a top-quality machine that meets or exceeds the very strict safety and modern-day technology requirements of the ACO and the American Le Mans Series. There are no grid-fillers or ghost entries; it is a field of outstanding sports cars and racing teams."
The Selection Committee has alternate teams on its docket and invited teams have until 12:01 p.m. (EST) on Thursday, February 28, to accept the invitation.
"This comes under the heading of 'be careful what you wish for because you may get it,' and that's good," said Huth, indicating that series officials have been hearing from sports car racing teams around the world interested in competing in series events this season.
"This is obviously a good problem to have, and bodes well for the future of the American Le Mans Series," said Huth. "It's a perfect way to launch the 2002 season."
The American Le Mans Series is a series of sports car endurance races based on the world-famous 24 Hours of Le Mans. The series will hold 10 events at premier permanent road racing facilities and key major market temporary circuits in North America during the 2002 season, with all televised live by either CBS, NBC Sports or the SPEED Channel. The series is heavily supported by auto manufacturers such as Audi, General Motors (Cadillac and Corvette), Saleen, Panoz and Porsche, with participation by Ascari, Dodge, Ferrari, Mazda and others.