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American Le Mans

From Academic Kids

The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) is a series of automobile races, founded in 1999 by Don Panoz, and sanctioned by IMSA. The American Le Mans Series utilizes the rules and regulations of the Automobile Club de L'Ouest, which organizes the world famous 24 Hours of Le Mans, to conduct several sports car racing events each year in North America. As with the 24 Hours of Le Mans the cars are divided into several classes, each car is assigned to multiple drivers, and all the cars compete together simultaneously. The cars of the American Le Mans Series are divided into two major classes. Purpose-built race cars with closed fenders compete in the Prototype classes (P1 and P2) and modified production sports cars compete in the Grand Touring classes (GT1 and GT2, formerly GT and GTS).

The premier events of the series include the season opening 12 Hours of Sebring held in March and the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. Events held during 2004 also included races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lime Rock Park, Infineon Raceway, Portland International Raceway, Mosport International Raceway, Road America, and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The 2005 season is scheduled to expand to 10 races, with an additional race to be held at Road Atlanta. The races for 2005 will be televised on Speed Channel and CBS.

Points are awarded in each class after every race, and the team points leader in each class at the end of the season receives an automatic invitation to the next year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. Additionally, privateer teams, teams that are not supported by the factory, compete for the IMSA Cup as well as special prizes for each race. In its history, the ALMS has been dominated by Audi, specifically the factory team Audi Sport Team Joest and now privateer team Champion Racing.

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