A little over a week before their biggest race of the year, the 12 Hours of Sebring, the ALMS made their annual promotional tour through Manhattan today. Series President Scott Atherton stopped by the FOX Sports offices for an interview with FOX Business and then it was off to the ESPN offices for some meetings and an interview with ESPN Magazine.
ESPN is of course their new TV partner for 2011 and not only are they doing the USA TV distribution we hear they will soon announce that they will also do international distribution through various ESPN outlets including both TV and online TV via ESPN 360.
Tonight Atherton addressed a crowd of 100 just a few blocks from the Empire State Building in midtown Manhattan. The event was staged at Manhattan Motorcars on 11th Ave and 28th street where we were surrounded by Bentleys, Lamborghini's, Rolls Royces, Porsches and other high end super cars. With over 55 cars slated to start this year's 12 hour classic, ALMS is showing steady growth in a still difficult economy.
This year the series will have at least 34 cars starting every race, up significantly from a few years ago when the economy hit rock bottom.
Audi will not be racing the new R18 at Sebring, choosing instead to bring the tried and true R15. They feel the car is not ready to race even though they have been testing it for a month at Sebring. They will race the R18 at the 24 Hours of LeMans of course and it will make its American debut at the Petit LeMans in October. Mark C. reporting from Manhattan