American Le Mans Series, IMSA officials accept 65 entries for diverse Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring field. BRASELTON, Ga. (January 30, 2003) -- One of the most diverse and competitive fields of sports cars to be assembled in modern times will...
American Le Mans Series, IMSA officials accept 65 entries for diverse Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring field.
BRASELTON, Ga. (January 30, 2003) -- One of the most diverse and competitive fields of sports cars to be assembled in modern times will race in the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the opening event of the 2003 season for the American Le Mans Series that will be run Mar. 12-15 at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway.
The event will be the 51st running of America's oldest sports car race and will open the fifth season for the American Le Mans Series, which started in 1999.
The popularity of the event has led IMSA, the sanctioning body for the American Le Mans Series, to make the unprecedented move of accepting all 65 entries for the race that were submitted before the deadline of January 29. Although pit road at Sebring typically accommodates 60 cars, IMSA officials have agreed to take whatever action necessary to be able to start up to five additional cars in the race.
The 65 entrants will be sent event invitations and will have until 5 p.m. (U.S. Eastern) on Monday, February 3, to accept the invitations and confirm their participation in the race.
Four classes of American Le Mans Series race cars will compete in the event, which begins at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 15, and continues until 10:30 p.m. Two classes of Prototype cars (LMP 900, the fastest ALMS class, and LMP 675) will race along with two classes of production-based cars (GTS and GT). At stake will be class wins, the overall win and season points toward the ALMS championship.
The stellar field will include many cars that will be making their first racing appearance in the United States, led by the two-car Team Bentley. The Bentley Speed 8 Prototype debuted in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2001 and the green, closed-roof machines proved to be some of the most popular cars in the race. Bentley has assembled a all-star team of drivers that includes defending American Le Mans Series champion Tom Kristensen.
Also racing for the first time in the ALMS will be a British Lister Storm in the LMP 900 class, an American Panoz Esperante, a British TVR, a British Morgan and an Italian Lamborghini GT-R in the GT class and an Italian Pagani Zonda in the GTS class. The LMP 900 class includes nine marques among 15 cars, with the LMP 675 and GTS classes consisting of 10 cars and five marques each. The GT class, which includes 30 cars, has nine marques represented.
The field also includes Audis, Corvettes, Ferraris, Porsches, Saleens, Vipers and other car makes that American Le Mans Series fans are used to seeing in every series event.
"Fans of professional sports car racing enjoy a wide variety of cars, and this field will include something of interest for just about anyone," said H. Doug Robinson. "All of the classes are filled with the world's best sports car racing teams with the best racing equipment available."
The Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring will have live, flag-to-flag television coverage in North America by the SPEED Channel, with full live coverage by the American Le Mans Series available online at www.americanlemans.com. Ticket information is available online at www.sebringraceway.com or by calling (863) 655-1442, or toll-free in Florida (800) 626-RACE.