Oklahoma City eyes ALMS race UPDATE #2 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today - See related press release.
05/06/11 The American Le Mans Series has agreed to hold a date in May 2013 while organizers in Oklahoma City work out arrangements for the race.
OKC Motorsports president Mike McAuliffe said Thursday his group must still work with state and local officials for funding of the race and road improvements needed to host the event near the zoo and Remington Park horse racing track.
ALMS has agreed to hold Grand Prix racing in Oklahoma City on the third weekend in May from 2013 to 2015 if the details get worked out.
Another group's bid to bring an ALMS race to Oklahoma City fell apart last year when the City Council rejected a request for $7 million in funding.
McAuliffe says he doesn't expect to ask for as much this time.03/09/10 OKC Grand Prix, LLC has entered into negotiations to bring an annual American Le Mans Series (ALMS) event tour stop to downtown Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma City Council approved a Resolution today authorizing the City Manager to enter into negotiations with OKC Grand Prix, LLC to bring the world’s premier sports car series to downtown. If awarded, the inaugural Oklahoma City Grand Prix would be held in the summer of 2011.
“Although there is much work yet to be done, the idea of Oklahoma City hosting a grand prix style race in downtown is a priority of mine,” said Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. “The idea has advanced to the point where it merits public discussion. If we can pull this off, it will be a tremendous leap forward for sports in Oklahoma City and take us a step closer to the high profile city we seek to become.”
OKC Grand Prix, LLC partners include longtime civic leader Mike McAuliffe and veteran sports executive Brad Lund. Former Mayor Ron Norick and local businessman Trent Ward will serve as co-chairs on the grand prix’s Advisory Board. Joe Mattioli established initial contact with city officials in 2004 and will serve as the company’s Race Consultant. OKC Grand Prix will immediately begin negotiations with American Le Mans on entering into a multi-year Sanction Agreement and continue to work with the city to formalize all requirements for Oklahoma City to be awarded an American Le Mans Series race.
“Following months of due diligence, there is no question Oklahoma City is in prime position to add this cosmopolitan event to our sports and entertainment calendar,” stated McAuliffe and Lund in a prepared statement. “An American Le Mans Series weekend has the potential to deliver an economic impact comparable to hosting a Final Four.”
The American Le Mans Series, presented by Tequila Patron, is a premier racing series with a 12-year history of races in major markets across North America, including a presence in 7 of the top 13 DMAs in the United States . Oklahoma City would be the 10th city added to its current schedule. The Oklahoma City Grand Prix projects to have a direct economic impact of $25 million and indirect impact exceeding $120 million. The Series averaged nearly 80,000 fans per race weekend in 2009.
The American Le Mans Series offers what no other motorsports body does – a unique platform featuring four different classes of sports cars all competing in one race – four races within one. Speed differences between the two classes of high-tech prototypes and two groups of elite GT cars create constant on-track battles and continual maneuvering and passing. In addition, the Series is recognized as the Global Leader in Green Racing due to its innovation in fuel-efficient and environmentally-conscious technical applications that include the use of five different alternative fuels and/or powertrains.
For more information, call (405)232-RACE or visit www.grandprixokc.com.