Video: ALMS The Leading Edge Today marks the launch of The Leading Edge, a new video segment exclusive to americanlemans.com that features newsmakers in the American Le Mans Series both on and off the track. To kick things off, we visited with Series President and CEO Scott Atherton and IMSA Vice President of Operations Scot Elkins for a little insight into the 2010 season. Check back in the coming days for more …
Scott Atherton: The outlook for 2010 “The priorities for the 2010 season would be to continue and carry the momentum we had at the end of 2009 into the beginning of ’10. When I speak to the direct contacts I have in the auto industry – specifically the manufacturers that compete with us and the highest levels of executives within those organizations – all are saying the similar things: That the darkest days are clearly behind us and that there has been a complete restructuring of just about all their business, which has in turn restructured our business. They still recognize the importance and the value that is represented by being actively involved in the American Le Mans Series.
“The vast majority of our manufacturers have continued to participate with us – some at reduced levels – but at the same time we have added new content that historically hasn’t been involved in the American Le Mans Series. While we haven’t been immune from the effects of the global economy and in particular the auto industry, the Series – because of what it represents and what it delivers in terms of the value equation – continues to attract new participants even during times where it would be easy to justify not being involved.”
Scot Elkins: New classes “The biggest changes I have seen since I joined the company are how we have gone through the structure and things we’ve done to try to adapt to the economy. They aren’t necessarily things we wouldn’t have done otherwise; we had to be a bit reactive because of the way the economy has been. Through having new classes and doing a lot of different things as far as our relationship with the ACO, those are the types of things we’ve had to do.
“We have a new specification Porsche for GT Challenge. It is maybe a second to a 1.5 seconds faster than last year’s car. The speeds of that class are coming up. The LMPC car is about the speed of what GT1 used to be. They will fit in really nice between the LMP and GT cars. The flow of the race should stay the same. It’s still four different classes of cars that are traveling at different rates and different braking distances. If nothing else, it should be more exciting because there will be more action on the track with more cars.”
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