** FIRST MIDWEST APPEARANCE FOR ALMS -- This Saturday's American Le Mans Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, will mark the first time in its three-year history that the series has raced in the American Midwest. The ...
** FIRST MIDWEST APPEARANCE FOR ALMS -- This Saturday's American Le Mans Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, will mark the first time in its three-year history that the series has raced in the American Midwest.
The two-hour, 45-minute race will get the green flag at 1 p.m. (EDT) on Saturday and will be televised live in the United States by NBC Sports. Live coverage by the American Le Mans Series Radio Web can be heard online at www.americanlemans.com.
Practice and qualifying will be held on Friday, while ALMS cars will have a test day on Thursday. The Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup will hold a 100-mile race at 4:15 p.m. Saturday.
This weekend's event marks the only time this season that the ALMS will have races on back-to-back weekends, following last Sunday's race at Mosport International Raceway in Canada.
Following the Mid-Ohio race, the ALMS will have a weekend off before the Sept. 9 event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif.
** TEENAGER FIELD SET FOR ALMS DEBUT AT MID-OHIO -- Clint Field, the 18-year-old son of Prototype driver Jon Field, will make his American Le Mans Series driving debut in this weekend's event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Field, who lives in nearby Dublin, Ohio, will partner with his father and uncle, Joel Field, as drivers of the #37 Intersport Racing/Banana Joe's Lola B2K10B-Judd. The team had originally planned to enter two cars, but recently made the decision to race with three drivers in one car.
"I'm excited to get to drive with my dad and Uncle Joel again," said Clint Field. "I am looking forward to competing in the ALMS. It's a very prestigious series and it provides a lot of exposure for an up-and-coming driver like myself."
The car is a newer version of the Lola that Intersport Racing used in ALMS races earlier this year at Sebring and Sears Point. "The new Lola is tighter," he said. "With the car being 32 percent stiffer, the overall handling will be better."
Though the ALMS has never raced at Mid-Ohio, Clint Field has competed in many events at the 2.258-mile circuit, having raced in various types of vehicles there since he was 15.
"Obviously I love this course," he said. "This is where I started racing. I have competed here several times over the past three years and I'm very comfortable at this track."
** FITZGERALD TO SUB FOR BERNHARD -- American driver Mike Fitzgerald of Fountain Hills, Az., has been called in to substitute for ALMS regular Timo Bernhard in this weekend's activities at Mid-Ohio. Bernhard will be in Europe to compete in a Porsche Carrera Cup event, a series in which he is involved in a championship battle.
Fitzgerald will partner with Johnny Mowlem of England in the #30 Petersen Motorsports/White Lightning Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RS. The car was damaged in a crash during Sunday's ALMS race at Mosport, but will be repaired in time to participate at Mid-Ohio.
** NEW LMP 675 TEAM TO DEBUT AT MID-OHIO -- The new LMP 675 class for smaller Prototypes in the American Le Mans Series will expand to four cars at Mid-Ohio with the addition of a Pilbeam MP84-Nissan entered by Southern Comfort Racing.
Jimmy Adams of Suffolk, Va., and Joe Blacker of Ellicott City, Md., will share driving duties in the car as the team and drivers make their ALMS debuts. Both drivers have been competing this year in the Speedvision World Challenge, which accompanies the ALMS at most of its events.
Adams, 29, is a former winner of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in the Legends class, setting qualifying and race records in 1997. He was an off-road racer prior to that. In recent years, he has also competed in INEX Legends cars and in SCCA Club racing.
Blacker, 47, has considerable SCCA Club racing experience, as well as in Vintage racing. He won the Vintage Formula B championships in 1997 and 1998. Blacker is the president of Audi Associates in Maryland.
QUICK NOTES -- The 2001 American Le Mans Series awards banquet will be held on Sunday night, October 7, at the Chateau Elan resort near Road Atlanta. The banquet will be on the day after the season-ending Audi Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta .... England's Atomic Kitten racing, which competes in the European Le Mans Series, had originally announced plans to race at Mid-Ohio with its new Chevrolet Corvette C5-R. However, the team has shelved that plan and will concentrate on preparing the Corvette for the ELMS race at Italy's Vallelunga circuit on Sept. 2 .... The recent victory by the Panoz LMP1-R at Portland made Panoz the only marque to win a race in the LMP 900 class in all three years since the formation of the ALMS in 1999. Unless BMW brings back its successful but retired Prototype and wins one of the three remaining races this season, Panoz will retain the distinction ... ALMS driver Milka Duno has a busy week. She left Canada after Sunday's race at Mosport for France, where she is doing some testing, and she will return to the United States Thursday, in time to practice at Mid-Ohio for Saturday's race ....