DETROIT (Sept. 7, 2001) - The Dayton Indy Lights Championship has been added to the racing line-up for the Audi Petit Le Mans race weekend at Road Atlanta, Oct. 3 - 6. The "Official Development Series" of CART will makes its Road Atlanta debut...
DETROIT (Sept. 7, 2001) - The Dayton Indy Lights Championship has been added to the racing line-up for the Audi Petit Le Mans race weekend at Road Atlanta, Oct. 3 - 6. The "Official Development Series" of CART will makes its Road Atlanta debut in a special Friday feature race scheduled to run at 3 p.m. local time.
Although the Dayton Indy Lights Championship has been in operation since 1986, the Road Atlanta event is not only a first for the series at the famous Georgia track but also the first time the open-wheel series has run in support of a sports car race. The Audi Petit Le Mans is a showcase event of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) tour that closes the weekend on Saturday with a 10-hour, or 1,000 mile, endurance event.
"We are very excited about having the Dayton Indy Lights Championship as part of the Audi Petit Le Mans weekend," said Mike Swaine, Executive Director of Road Atlanta. "Adding the open-wheel CART-sanctioned race gives us a tremendous variety of support events for the Audi Petit Le Mans, and we think the Dayton Indy Lights will be very popular with our fans."
The 75-mile Dayton Indy Lights sprint (exact laps and race distance will be determined) at Road Atlanta was added to the 2001 calendar in replacement of a cancelled Labor Day Weekend race at Chicagoland Speedway. The addition of the Road Atlanta races restores the 2001 Dayton Indy Lights Championship to its planned total of 12 races. Road Atlanta will be Round 10 of the series with Round 11 being held the following week at Laguna Seca Raceway in California. The season-ending event will be held at California Speedway, November 4.
Both the Road Atlanta and Laguna Seca races will be telecast on ESPN2 in back-to-back one-hour shows late Sunday, Oct. 14. The Road Atlanta race airs at 1:30 a.m. ET and will be immediately followed at 2:30 a.m. ET by the Laguna Seca race that will be run earlier that day. Although the late-night television times are actually early Monday morning, Oct. 15, viewers on the West Coast can catch the shows on the 14th at 10:30 p.m. PT and 11:30 p.m. PT, respectively.
With three races remaining and Road Atlanta next up on the Dayton Indy Lights schedule, Californian Townsend Bell (DIRECWAY Lola) leads the championship with 22 points. Bell has won four of the year's first nine races and his lead equates to basically a full race advantage over the competition. With a maximum 22 points available to a driver at each race, Bell will leave Road Atlanta with at least a tie for the championship regardless of the race's outcome. Bell's 131 points leads his Dorricott Racing teammate Damien Faulkner (Dorricott Racing Lola), a two-time rookie race winner this season, who has 109 points. Dan Wheldon (Gemstar Communications/ PacWest Lights Lola) is third in the championship with 103 points. He won the most recent Dayton Indy Lights race at Gateway International Raceway late last month.