** MOSPORT NEXT FOR AMERICAN LE MANS -- The American Le Mans Series' two-race venture into Canada will conclude with the August 18 running of the mail2web.com Grand Prix of Mosport at Mosport International Raceway. Mosport, located just east of...
** MOSPORT NEXT FOR AMERICAN LE MANS -- The American Le Mans Series' two-race venture into Canada will conclude with the August 18 running of the mail2web.com Grand Prix of Mosport at Mosport International Raceway.
Mosport, located just east of Toronto in Bowmanville, Ont., has hosted races for the American Le Mans Series in all three previous years that the series has existed. The 2.459-mile, 10-turn circuit has produced some of the most exciting racing the series has had, including the closest finish in series history. In the 2000 event, the Audi R8 co-driven by Rinaldo Capello and Allan McNish nipped the BMW V12 LMR of JJ Lehto and Jorg Muller by just .148 second.
Mosport has played an important role in Canadian racing history, including hosting Formula One races in the past. The track has enjoyed a revival in recent years since being purchased by Don Panoz, including a massive facility upgrade for fans and competitors.
Teams will have testing on Friday, August 16, with practice and qualifying set for Saturday. The two-hour, 45-minute race will start at 1 p.m. (EDT) on Sunday, August 18. NBC Sports will have live television coverage from 2-4 p.m. The American Le Mans Series Radio Web will have live coverage of both qualifying and the race and can be heard online at www.americanlemans.com.
** LEWIS TO ATTEMPT NASCAR WINSTON CUP DEBUT -- Shane Lewis of Jupiter, Fla., a regular competitor on the American Le Mans Series, will attempt to make his debut in NASCAR Winston Cup racing in this weekend's event on the Watkins Glen, N.Y., road course.
Lewis, who had driven this season for American Viperacing in the ALMS until this past weekend's event at Trois-Rivieres, Qc., will be driving a Ford Taurus owned by Edgar Otto, Jr., and prepared by Last Lap. The car is sponsored by National Healing Corporation.
Lewis and the team recently spent two days testing the car at the Watkins Glen circuit, site of one of only two road course events each year for NASCAR's premier series. "Edgar has given me a chance to accomplish one of my goals by racing in Winston Cup," said Lewis.
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** DYSON TEAM TO DEBUT NEW MG LOLA AT MOSPORT -- The Dyson Racing Team, one of America's most successful sports car racing teams over the past two decades, will debut a new car in the Aug. 18 American Le Mans Series event at Mosport International Raceway.
The Dyson team will race its new Lola EX257-AER MG in the event, giving the team's British-made car its first test in racing conditions. Dyson will be the third team to race one of the exciting new cars in ALMS competition this season.
The team has entered the car with three drivers for the race, including James Weaver, Chris Dyson and Butch Leitzinger. The Dyson team has been running a Riley & Scott MkIIIA-Lincolin in the Prototype 900 class, but the new Lola will run in the LMP 675 class for smaller, less-powerful Prototypes.
Commonly known as the MG-Lola, the design debuted in the 2001 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans as an MG factory effort. In the race, the car had the speed to compete with many of the LMP 900 machines in that event before retiring.
KnightHawk Racing and Intersport purchased MG-Lolas over the winter and have been racing them in ALMS competition this year. Intersport has won the LMP 675 class in two races and driver Jon Field has taken the class pole in four of six races. Two drivers have given the KnightHawk team the class pole in the other two events.
** FELLOWS ONE POLE FROM SERIES RECORD -- Ron Fellows is just one pole away from owning the American Le Mans Series record for the most poles by a driver in any class.
Fellows has won the GTS class pole for all six races held this season, bringing his career total to 13. The pole last weekend at Trois-Rivieres, Qc., moved him into a tie with Dirk Muller for the most poles by any driver in any class in series history.
All of Muller's poles came in the GT class, while all of Fellows' have come in the GTS class.
If Fellows' pole-winning streak continues, he will break the record in the next event at Mosport International Raceway. Since he lives in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga, Ont., breaking the record at his home track would seem to be fitting. However, Fellows winning the pole at Mosport is not a given, as Saleen driver Terry Borcheller pulled off an upset last year by outqualifying Fellows on the Canadian circuit.
** HINDERY TO BE FEATURED ON SPORTS TV SHOW -- American Le Mans Series driver Leo Hindery will be featured in a segment of this week's edition of the popular U.S. television program Motor Sports Weekly.
The segment will highlight Hindery, a well-known executive in the telecommunications industry who is President and COO of "The YES Network," a regional sports network formed around the broadcast rights of the New York Yankees, New Jersey Nets and New Jersey Devils.
Hindery, from Hillsborough, Calif., drives for the Orbit racing team in the GT class, co-piloting a Porsche 911 GT3 RS with Peter Baron. Hindery is seventh in the GT class driver point standings after six rounds of the ALMS championship.
Motor Sports Weekly airs on Wednesdays from 3-4 p.m. (local time) on regional affiliates of Fox Sports Net, with a re-air at 11 a.m. on Fridays. In addition, there are replays at various times over the weekend, and the show airs on selected Fox broadcast stations nationwide every weekend.
** CANADA'S RACELINE RADIO TO PREVIEW MOSPORT -- Raceline Radio, the award-winning weekly motorsports radio program that airs across Canada, will preview the upcoming American Le Mans Series event at Mosport with a two-hour special on Monday night, August 12.
Last year's show, which featured ALMS drivers Rinaldo Capello and Ron Fellows, won an award from the American Automobile Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association for show co-host Erik Tomas.
The show begins at 10 p.m. (EDT) and can be heard on 12 radio stations in Canada. The Team 1050 in Toronto is the flagship station, and a complete station list is available at www.raceline.ca.
** AUDI WIN FROM 20TH NOT A RECORD -- Tom Kristensen and Rinaldo Capello won this past weekend's American Le Mans Series race at Trois-Rivieres, Qc., from 20th place on the starting grid. The Audi R8 was carefully worked through traffic in the race's early laps and was in contention for the win very soon.
The charge from 20th to victory marked the second-lowest starting position for a race winner in the history of the American Le Mans Series. The record of 34th was set in April of 1999 at Road Atlanta by the team of Eric van de Poele and Mimmo Schiattarella, driving a Riley & Scott MkIII-Judd for Team Rafanelli. That victory also stands as the only overall win in ALMS history by a privateer team.
** MAASSEN, KRISTENSEN SQUARE OFF ON COURT -- American Le Mans Series drivers Tom Kristensen and Sascha Maassen squared off in a tennis match a few days before last weekend's race at Trois-Rivieres, Qc. Maassen, driver for the Alex Job Racing Porsche team, beat the Audi Sport North America driver, prompting the obvious question: When does a GT driver finish ahead of a Prototype driver? When they play tennis.
"He (Maassen) was already practicing when I got there, and he chose the racquets," said Kristensen, from Denmark. "He is certainly a great player and he would have gone far in that world if he'd chosen that route. Next time, I'll play with my right hand!"
"He's absolutely right," said Maassen, from Germany. "I'm very happy he knows every excuse possible -- I have no problem letting him practice his excuses, as well as tennis."
Both drivers were winners on Saturday, with Kristensen and co-driver Rinaldo Capello taking the overall win at Trois-Rivieres and Maassen joining with Lucas Luhr to score the GT class win. The wins also enabled both drivers to retain their respective leads in the driver championship standings.
** QUICK NOTES -- Sascha Maassen and Rinaldo Capello's respective wins at Trois-Rivieres were the 12th of their careers in the ALMS, tying them with former ORECA Viper driver Karl Wendlinger for second on the series' all-time race wins list. Another former ORECA Viper driver, Olivier Beretta, is the all-time series leader with 14 race wins --. Capello and Ron Fellows scored their 20th top three career ALMS finishes in the Trois-Rivieres event, tying them with JJ Lehto for the most in series history. Lehto, who is running only a partial schedule this year, will be driving for Team Cadillac in the upcoming Mosport event --. Frank Biela, who has won three poles this season for the Audi team, is one pole away from tying the series LMP 900 season record of four that is shared by Allan McNish (2000) and Rinaldo Capello (2001).