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Prototype (P)

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USCC Point Standings
2014 After Watkins Glen
Prototype Drivers
Pos Drivers Total
1 Joao Barbosa 31
1 Christian Fittipaldi 31
2 Brian Frisselle 26
2 Burt Frisselle 26
3 Sage Karam 26
4 Max Angelelli 25
4 Jordan Taylor 25
4 Ricky Taylor 25
5 Scott Pruett 24
5 Memo Rojas 24
6 Sebastien Bourdais 23
7 Michael Valiante 22
7 Richard Westbrook 22
8 Scott Dixon 22
8 Tony Kanaan 22
9 Ryan Dalziel 21
9 Scott Sharp 21
10 Johannes van Overbeek 21
10 Ed Brown 21
11 Marino Franchitti 20
12 Alex Brundle 20
12 Gustavo Yacaman 20
13 Eric Curran 18
13 Boris Said 18
14 Oswaldo Negri Jr. 18
14 John Pew 18
15 Joel Miller 18
15 Tristan Vautier 18
16 Gabby Chaves 18
16 Katherine Legge 18
17 David Brabham 17
18 Simon Pagenaud 17
19 Wayne Taylor 15
20 Fabien Giroix 14
20 John Martin 14

Manufacturers
1 Chevrolet 38
2 Ford 34
3 Nissan 28
4 Honda 26
5 Mazda 18
ALMS boss enthusiastic about '09 season

ALMS
Wednesday, March 18, 2009

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Scott Atherton
The start of another American Le Mans Series season is here, and the excitement is mounting for the 57th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida. No one shares that anticipation more than Series President and CEO Scott Atherton, who offers a few reasons for his enthusiasm.

Question: Some have said that the battle at Sebring this year in LMP1 could be one of the best battles ever seen in sports car racing. What are your thoughts?

Answer: I think you can easily make that argument. True, there have been great match-ups among great drivers and teams in the past, but I think you would have to go back to the peak of the IMSA GTP era - the early ’90s - to find a time when three of the world’s top automobile manufacturers have sent not one but two state-of-the-art race cars each to vie for the Sebring victory honors. Audi comes with an unparalleled race record and great drivers like McNish, Capello, Kristensen, Werner, Luhr and Rockenfeller who have won on every major world stage. And they come with a new, innovative state-of-the-art race car - the R15 TDI that has a mighty task in succeeding both the R8 and R10 TDI. Peugeot has fought Audi blow-for-blow the last few seasons in all the world’s great races from Sebring to Le Mans to Petit Le Mans and many times has had the faster car. But as we all know, in endurance racing faster does not always mean victory. I know Peugeot would like nothing better than to spoil the R15’s debut for Audi, and they certainly have the driver lineup to accomplish that. When you then add in a world-class racing program like Acura’s that has shown tremendous success and progress in LMP2 before moving two of its premier teams to LMP1, well you now have six cars that are likely to make this race one for the ages. But don’t be surprised if Intersport Racing with Jon and Clint Field and Chapman Ducote mounts a strong independent challenge. Autocon, too, as they have been testing and made some great progress in the offseason. So I expect a classic battle in LMP1 this year.

Q: What are you personally looking forward to in the 2009 season? 

A: [Laughing] I heard one sports executive answer the same question recently by saying “it being over”. But I don’t feel that way at all. Certainly this is going to be a bit of a different year with the economic challenges that everyone is facing. But I think it’s also going to be a year where we see the relevance of our positioning and the leadership we have taken in Green Racing enable us to aggressively move forward. There will be some very progressive things happening in the Series. We’re watching the progress of Acura as it steps up in class to LMP1. We’re thrilled to see the return of BMW to the Series under one of the great names in the racing business, Rahal Letterman Racing. We’re seeing Michelin, with its focus on performance and the environment, wrap its arms around our green racing initiatives with our newly branded MICHELIN® Green X® Challenge and its activation of that program. For the first time, we’ll see the MICHELIN® Green X® Challenge as a featured element of all events with trophies presented each race to the top performing prototype and GT teams that score best in combined overall performance, fuel efficiency and environmental impact. And we have new corporate marketing partners joining us with premium brands like Mikimoto Pearls and others who will be announced in the very near future. All these examples and more - like Dyson Racing’s new partnership with Mazda - give us considerable momentum going into the start of the year and I look forward to seeing how that momentum will build. I truly think it will. When you consider the combination of our outstanding event promoters, our foundation of established and new teams, the auto manufacturers and marketing partners we work with and our green initiatives led by our collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy and SAE International - we are in a league by ourselves. For sure we’ll have our challenges, but with that combination of assets and partners we couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the year ahead.

Q: How will the challenge of the economy that you alluded to affect the Series, and what the fans will see this year?

A: Good question. As the presidential candidates often said during their campaigns - how about a little “straight talk”? We’re still going to provide world-class racing in an unmatched relevant, innovative and high-tech atmosphere, but we are not immune from the realities of the economy. The fact is we are going to have fewer cars on our grids than we had last season. However, I also expect we will see our entry counts consistently grow during the season. If people want to see the most sophisticated, progressively advanced and environmentally innovative race cars in the world race in head-to-head competition with constant passing and action, the American Le Mans Series will continue to be the only place where they can see that. And we are always working closely with our event promoters to bring new enhancements and value to the overall fan experience at the track. Certainly, this is an economic environment that has become more challenging, but I’ve been quite pleased with the innovation and creativity of many of our promoters. And if the advance sales at Sebring are any indication, we are going to have a very respectable season by every measure.

Q.: When the season winds down at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in October, what needs to have happened this year for the American Le Mans Series to say it has had a successful season?

A: Another good question... I think four questions will have to be answered in the affirmative to confirm a successful season. One, did we deliver unprecedented value to all our stakeholders - fans, teams, manufacturers, sponsors, event promoters - all of them? Two, were we able to deliver a quality product of great, competitive racing that led to exciting championship battles in multiple classes? Three, did we obtain new, high-quality partners, ones who reflect our commitment to excellence, the environment and are ready to activate alongside us? And finally, did we move to the next level of automotive relevance and innovation within motorsports, and did we maintain our leadership position in this area? That means embracing even further the development of next-generation technology that not only enhances the performance of a race car, but more importantly translates to automotive innovation that impacts consumers in positive ways.

Before we end, I’d like to say this…

This sport was originally created by people who believed that the best way to get to a better tomorrow was to face the challenges of today head-on. It is evident that the manufacturers, teams, sponsors and event promoters who are with us during these very challenging times believe this too. Clearly our fans understand and believe this as well.

I am heartened by the fact that we all share the belief that the future belongs to those who innovate, regardless of the obstacles. We all know this approach depends on embracing change rather than resisting it - that’s what we’ve always been about.

So, despite all the negative economic news of the past six months, I still believe the best is yet to come for the American Le Mans Series and for those companies and corporate partners far-sighted enough to face the challenges that surround us all. Together we will innovate and we will prosper.

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