Stage Set for More ALMS Success at Le Mans
For the last 14 years, teams from the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron have been a competitive force at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This year will be no different as a collection of the ALMS’ best head for one of the most important races in all of motorsport.
|SRT Viper being chased by the ESM Ferrari|
The 90th anniversary of the French endurance classic is set for June 22-23. Corvette Racing, going for its eighth class victory at Le Mans, and SRT Motorsports, making its debut in the French classic, are part of the GTE Pro field.
SRT's participation is highly significant. This marks the return of a factory Viper effort to Le Mans for the first time since 2000 when Viper Team ORECA won its third straight race in class. Coincidentally, Corvette Racing debuted at Le Mans the same season.
In LMP2, Scott Tucker’s Level 5 Motorsports will return to Le Mans with a Honda ARX-03b entry. The team has won the last two ALMS championships in class and three straight titles dating back to the 2010 Prototype Challenge crown.
There are two newcomers in the GTE AM class from the ALMS. Extreme Speed Motorsports has one entry with its Tequila Patr¢n-backed Ferrari F458 Italia, and Patrick Dempsey will drive a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR as part of the Proton Dempsey Racing lineup.
|Actor turn race driver and team owner Patrick Dempsey|
ESM received one of the at-large bids from the ALMS after winning two races in 2012 – including Petit Le Mans – and finishing third in the GT championship.
This is the second race at Le Mans for Hollywood star Dempsey. He debuted in the 2009 race and made no secret of his passion to return when he announced his entry into ALMS in 2012.
TRG is on the reserve list for GTE. The GT champion at Le Mans in 2002, the team hopes to make its comeback under the TRG-AMR North America banner this year with an Aston Martin Vantage GTE. It is the same car TRG-AMR North America expects to debut during the 2013 ALMS.
“This is an understandably exciting news for a group of our best teams and competitors to receive. ALMS representation at the 24 Hours of Le Mans has historically been strong, producing exciting wins and many proud moments for North American fans,” said Scott Atherton, ALMS President and CEO. “Whether its familiar faces like Corvette Racing and Level 5 Motorsports or relative newcomers to Le Mans such as SRT, Extreme Speed and Patrick Dempsey, we are proud to be represented by them and offer our heartiest congratulations and best wishes in their race toward one of the world’s great motorsport events.”