The American Le Mans Series
DRIVING INNOVATION. . . ONE LAP AT A TIME
Premium manufacturers, world-class teams and the greatest drivers in the world...all pushing the limits of automotive innovation and technology. Welcome to the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón – where we contest the race to tomorrow ... faster.
Since 1923, the world-famous 24 Hours of Le Mans has served as the test bed for both man and machine. Each June, the small French town of Le Mans plays host to the twice-around- the-clock endurance classic that has spurred some of the most significant auto advancements in history. Seventy-five years after the first race at Le Mans, Dr. Don Panoz breathed new life into American sports car racing with the inaugural Petit Le Mans in October 1998 and then the first American Le Mans Series race in 1999 at Sebring International Raceway.
Through 11 years and 109 races, the American Le Mans Series has fulfilled Panoz’s dreams with a mix of the world’s premier manufacturers and leading independent teams. It holds races on the most prominent permanent road courses and major- market temporary street circuits in North America and around the world. Twenty-three venues in five countries have played host to the American Le Mans Series since 1999 with four holding events each year since the Series’ inception: Sebring International Raceway, Mosport International Raceway, Road Atlanta and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The greatest names in motorsports have tested their skills in the American Le Mans Series. Names like Beretta, Bergmeister, Brabham, de Ferran, Franchitti, Kristensen, Lehto, McNish, O’Connell and Salo fill the talent roster. Acura, Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Panoz, Peugeot, Porsche and Saleen are among the marques that have tasted victory in the Series, as have teams the caliber of Audi Sport, Corvette Racing, Penske Racing, Prodrive, Rahal Letterman and Risi Competizione.
Le Mans stands for diversity, innovation and relevance – platforms the American Le Mans Series embraces and furthers with each event. Whether it is advancements in energy efficiency, car and safety constructions or tire technologies, the American Le Mans Series IS the ultimate on-track R&D laboratory. These reasons – and many more – continue to be the premium brand of motorsport.
What makes ALMS unique...
The American Le Mans Series, like the 24 Hours of Le Mans, features multiple classes of sports cars racing on the track at the same time, making for seemingly endless passing throughout the race.
Each car has two drivers (sometimes three for the longer endurance races) who switch during the course of the race.
The majority of the races are “timed” races of 2:45 and not based on laps. Longer endurance races include the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring (12 hours), Petit Le Mans (10 hours or 1,000 miles, whichever comes first), and the American Le Mans Series Monterey presented by Tequila Patrón at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (six hours).
World’s most “RELEVANT” race series...
Manufacturers that compete in the American Le Mans Series develop technologies and innovations which eventually transfer to their road cars. Some Series examples include direct fuel injection, sulfur-free diesel technology, composite brakes, paddle shifting, lightweight carbon fiber chassis/body panels, telemetry, drive-by-wire throttle and tunable traction control. The Series is also the first major racing series in the world to use multiple “street legal” alternative fuels, with all of its cars on track racing on either clean diesel, E10 or cellulosic E85 ethanol blends and hybrid technology, a groundbreaking evolution that hit the track in 2009.
The 2010 season also marks the second year of the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge, a revolutionary competition that at each event rewards Series teams (one prototype and one GT) for their overall performance and environmental impact. Instituted at Petit Le Mans in 2008, the MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge ranks teams on the amount of energy used, greenhouse gases emitted and petroleum displaced.
About the drivers. . .
The Series features the best sports car drivers from all over the world. Many of the drivers hail from Europe where sports car racing has a rich history; however, there are many great American drivers as well such as current and past champions Patrick Long, Johnny O’Connell, Scott Sharp, Clint Field and Chris Dyson, as well as Butch Leitzinger and Johannes van Overbeek.
About the venues...
The Series competes on North America’s premier road courses such as Sebring International Raceway, Road America, Mosport International Raceway, Road Atlanta and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. It also annually holds events on urban street circuits in some of the nation’s major markets such as Long Beach in southern California.
A global reach. . .
The American Le Mans Series reaches all corners of the world with an extensive online radio network in partnership with Radio Show Limited, the rights holders for Radio Le Mans. In addition to online and at-track coverage via PA, local track radio and scanner frequency, Series radio broadcasts are also aired on SIRIUS|XM in the United States. Series races reach more than 600 million homes around the world.
The participating manufacturers…
The American Le Mans Series has more participating manufacturers than F1, NASCAR and IndyCar combined. They include such prestigious and elite brands as Aston Martin, BMW, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Ford, Jaguar, Mazda, Panoz, Peugeot and Porsche.
The Series and Le Mans…
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is a single, stand-alone event organized and operated by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) in France. It is one of the oldest and most famous auto races in the world and was the genesis of the American Le Mans Series in 1999. The American Le Mans Series has become a winning force at Le Mans over the past 11 years. In addition to eight overall victories, Series teams have claimed a total of 25 class championships. Special consideration is given to Series teams during the entrant selection process for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The four class-winning teams at Petit Le Mans also receive invitations to the following year’s event at Le Mans.
THE EXPERIENCE: AUTHENTIC AND RELEVANT
The American Le Mans Series prides itself on being the most authentic and relevant motorsport championship in the world. But it’s not merely a statement. Each Series event is a chance for manufacturers to prove their technological advancements and innovation. Alternative energy advancements from biofuels to hybrid technology, leading-edge developments in tire technology from one of the Series’ four tire constructors and automotive designs that carry over to dealership showrooms are just a few of the examples. Simply put, the American Le Mans Series is an elite R&D platform.
Aspirational brands such as Aston Martin, BMW, Chevrolet, Ferrari, Ford, Jaguar, Mazda, Panoz and Porsche are all here along with high-end automotive products including multiple tire and fuel manufacturers as well as premium non-endemic partners such as The Patrón Spirits Company, Yancey’s Fancy Cheese, G-Oil and more.
According to Nielsen Media Research Sports Quest Report, the American Le Mans Series TV audience has the most affluent demographics of any regularly televised sport in America, exceeding the PGA Tour and ATP tennis. Many of its fans own or aspire to own products from the Series’ automotive manufacturers and other brands that participate in the American Le Mans Series. The median income of the average fan is in excess of $120,000 with nearly a quarter having a net worth of more than $1 million. Nielsen also identified a typical Series fan as a highly desirable market influencer, more than half of whom are more likely to purchase a product or service from a company affiliated with the American Le Mans Series. With these types of demographics, it is easy to understand why premium brands choose to associate with the American Le Mans Series and its fans.