WASHINGTON, D.C., TO HOST WINNERS OF 24 HOURS OF LE MANS IN INAUGURAL CADILLAC GRAND PRIX AT RFK STADIUM CIRCUIT WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 10, 2002) Three of the four class-winning teams from the world's most famous endurance race will descend on...
WASHINGTON, D.C., TO HOST WINNERS OF 24 HOURS OF LE MANS IN INAUGURAL CADILLAC GRAND PRIX AT RFK STADIUM CIRCUIT
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 10, 2002) Three of the four class-winning teams from the world's most famous endurance race will descend on the nation's capital July 19-20-21 for the inaugural Cadillac Grand Prix of Washington, D.C., the first major automobile racing event in Washington in more than 80 years.
Racing teams and drivers from the 24 Hours of Le Mans will compete in the two-hour, 45-minute American Le Mans Series race that will be the feature event of a weekend at a competitive racing circuit constructed outside of RFK Stadium. The 24 Hours of Le Mans was held June 15-16 at the Circuit de la Sarthe in France.
Drivers Frank Biela, Tom Kristensen and Emanuele Pirro won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in an Audi R8 Prototype, becoming the first drivers ever to win the historic event three years in a row. Pirro, the defending American Le Mans Series champion, and Biela will co-drive at Washington in the same Audi that won at Le Mans. Kristensen, who leads the American Le Mans Series standings after four of 10 races, will co-drive with Rinaldo Capello in the same Audi that finished second at Le Mans.
The Audi R8 is rapidly carving out a legend for itself in the history of sports car racing. In addition to three straight wins at Le Mans, the car has also won the last two American Le Mans Series championships and three of four ALMS races this season.
American Le Mans Series races feature four classes of race cars, all competing at the same time for class wins as well as the overall race victory. In addition to Audi, automotive manufacturers with a presence in the Washington event will include BMW, Cadillac, Corvette, Dodge, Ferrari, Nissan, Panoz, Porsche and Saleen.
Also competing at Washington on the 1.7-mile, seven-turn circuit will be Corvette Racing, which finished 1-2 in the production-based GTS class at Le Mans for the second year in a row. Le Mans winners Ron Fellows and Johnny O'Connell will look for their fourth win of 2002.
The winner of the production-based GT class at Le Mans, The Racers Group, will also compete in the Cadillac Grand Prix. Kevin Buckler, owner/driver for The Racers Group Porsche 911 GT3 RS, recently also scored his first win in the ALMS and will co-drive with veteran Brian Cunningham.
In addition to Le Mans winners, the Cadillac Grand Prix of Washington, D.C., field of drivers will include stars of many other forms of racing, including international drivers who have made their mark Formula One racing. Former F1 race winner Johnny Herbert of England and former F1 regulars Emanuele Pirro of Italy, David Brabham of Australia, Eric Bernard of France, Jan Magnussen of Denmark and Stefan Johansson of Sweden will all compete at RFK.
Other international racing stars will include Ron Fellows of Canada, who has enjoyed success in both sports car racing and NASCAR and female racer Milka Duno of Venezuela, who this year became the first woman to race Prototype 900 machines in the ALMS. Twelve countries are represented in the driver corps for the event.
A star-spangled group of American racers will also compete in the event, including Californians Bryan Herta and Bill Auberlen in the Panoz "Spirit of America" Prototype entry. Wayne Taylor of Florida will lead the two-car Prototype entry for Team Cadillac.
The weekend of racing at RFK Stadium will also include a Saturday race for the popular Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup, along with events for the SPEED World Challenge GT and Touring cars and the open-wheel Star Mazda Series. In addition, a celebrity racing event on Saturday will match stars of television, movies and music, including actors such as William Shatner of "Star Trek," Melissa Joan Hart of "Sabrina The Teenaged Witch," and Ian Ziering "Beverly Hills 90210," supermodel Kim Alexis and rapper/actor Coolio.
The ALMS race will be televised live by NBC Sports at 1 p.m. (EDT) on Sunday, with highlights to be shown on Eurosport on Sunday, July 28, at 8 p.m. (CET).
Ticket information is available online at www.cadillacgrandprix.com or by calling (202) 432-SEAT.