Menstuff® has compiled the following information on What is
the American Le Mans Series? Fourteen women have competed in the ALMS
series over the years (Milka
Duno, Belinda Endress,
Davina Galica, Liz
Halliday, Kimberly Hiskey, Claudia
Hurtgen, Cindi Lux,
Danica Patrick, Andrea
Melanie Snow, Lyn St
James, Amanda Stretton and Jennifer
Thirteen Women Racers in the ALMS
Learn more at www.americanlemans.com
Related Issue: Women Racers Directory, Women in Racing, Women Racers, More Women in Racing, Notable Women, IRL, Iditarod, Indy Lights, NASCAR, Soap Box Derby
American Le Mans Series events feature multi-class racing among the top sports car racing drivers and teams in the world. The starting lineup for every event includes both factory and privateer racing teams going for overall wins as well as wins in one of four classes of competition.
Every year, millions of spectators, broadcast viewers and listeners from around the globe focus on the Sarthe region of France to witness the 24-hour event, which dates back to 1923. The race tests manand machine in what is considered one of the world's most prestigious automobile races.
In an effort to expand upon the rich history and tradition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), organizers and rights holders for the trademarks and rules for the 24-hour race agreed to license their internationally famous brand name and rules to Panoz.
With these rights, Panoz founded the American Le Mans Series in 1999. The series is part of the Panoz Motor Sports Group, a holding company that includes some of Panoz' motorsports properties.
The ALMS is holding 10 North American events in 2005, all which will be televised by either CBS-TV or Speed Channel, both of which have entered into mult-year agreements to television ALMS races and ancillary programming.
The majority of the races are "sprint" races of two hours and 45 minutes in length. The longest event is the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours at Sebring (Fla.) International Raceway, the oldest sports car race in America, celebrating its 53rd year 2005. The prestigious Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta is a grueling 1,000-mile event held in the fall and is a pivotal race for the championship.
The inaugural Petit Le Mans, held October 10, 1998, was Panoz' first use of the Le Mans name. The event, designed to be a miniature version of the 24 Hours, drew more than 40,000 spectators to Road Atlanta, a 2.54-mile road course that had flirted with bankruptcy until Panoz infused new life (and dollars) into it when he purchased it in 1997.
The good vibrations and bottom line of the first Petit Le Mans brought instant credibility to the American Le Mans Series, which launched the next year.
ALMS races are run under the ACO rules, with the events sanctioned and conducted by IMSA (International Motor Sports Association). Teams that regularly compete in ALMS events receive special consideration in the selection of the 48-car field for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
ACO rules and IMSA implementation of the rules provide confidence and stability that competitors have been seeking in American sports car racing.
The ALMS' multi-year contract with the ACO, which was renewed and expanded in 2002, provides competitors with the comfort of knowing that there is a long-term plan for the growth and stability of the sport.
No racing series anywhere has a more comprehensive fan program. Fans get a taste of the 24 Hours of Le Mans at all ALMS events, including downtown promotional events complete with race cars and the same rules and race format as the historic French event. In addition, all events feature a paddock area open to all ticket holding fans, autograph sessions with all drivers, tech talks and fan forums throughout race weekend.
The overall winning team in the 24 Hours of Le Mans the past four
years has also been a team that regularly competed in ALMS events, as
were most of the class-winning teams. The ALMS builds its yearly
schedule of events around Le Mans, allowing teams to participate in
the pre-practice event in early May and remain in Europe for the
mid-June running of the race.
Thirteen Women Racers in the ALMS