Some ALMS teams get automatic invite to 2012 LeMans 24H The rewards for champions in the 2011 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patr¢n continue to roll in. Six ALMS teams earned a total of eight automatic entries into the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) announced. The ACO is the sanctioning body for Le Mans, the world’s greatest sports car race.
By way of the ALMS’ official relationship with the ACO, Series teams have multiple ways to earn automatic invitations to Le Mans. Class champions and the runners-up in the LMP1 and GT classes for 2011 received berths for next year’s race, as did class winners at the 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda, and LMP and GT winners of the season-long MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge. The ALMS qualifiers include:
Two entries • Dyson Racing: Winner of the American Le Mans Series LMP1 championship and MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge LMP category • BMW Team RLL: Winner of the ALMS GT championship and MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge GT category • Corvette Racing: GTE Pro winner at 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours and runner-up in ALMS GT championship
One entry • Muscle Milk Aston Martin Racing: Runner-up in ALMS LMP1 championship • Level 5 Motorsports: LMP2 class winner at Petit Le Mans
So which teams will take up its invitations? Corvette Racing is a safe bet as it has raced with two cars each year since 2000. Decisions are forthcoming from the rest of the group, including Dyson Racing.
“Defending our ALMS LMP1 championship is our first priority,” team principal and driver Chris Dyson said. “But going to Le Mans is on our radar and we’ll take a serious look at it. If we can align ourselves with the right group of sponsors then we’ll try to make that happen. I’ve always enjoyed the reception I’ve gotten when I’ve competed over there, and we definitely would like to do it as an organization. But again, winning another LMP1 championship in the ALMS is our No. 1 goal.”
The 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours is set for June 16-17 from the famed Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France with the start scheduled for 3 p.m. local time. A full list of entries for Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship will be announced Feb. 2.
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