TACH Special: ALMS Set To Invade Texas
26 August 2000
By David Treffer
The Auto Channel
The American Le Mans Series rolls into the Dallas/Fort Worth area next week for the inaugural American Le Mans Series Grand Prix of Texas. This will be the first time that the ALMS has ventured to Texas and will mark the return of sportscar racing to the "LoneStar" state since the former IMSA series raced in the streets of San Antonio.
The race, round 7 of 12 races, at the Texas Motor Speedway will be on Saturday evening September 1st. The ALMS will not only be breaking new territory by coming to Texas but the series will be racing on a brand new 2.83 mile infield road course. The infield course is so new that teams as well as tire companies will not be able to obtain any test time. That should make for an interesting first test/practice session on Thursday.
The Texas race will be hard pressed to be more exciting than the recent ALMS race at Mosport. The Audi v.BMW battle was one of the best that the series has offered. The close finish (.143 seconds) was reminiscent of the Porsche v.Jaguar battle in the IMSA downtown Miami race in1988.
The 2000 ALMS Championship series has turned into a titanic battle between the German Automakers of Auto Union and BMW. The driver's standings is led by BMW driver Jorg Muller (146 points) followed by his teammate J.J.Lehto (143 points). Audi driver Allan McNish is currently in third with 126 points. With 6 races left in the series the championship battle will probably be decided at the season-ending race in Australia.
The Texas Motor Speedway is rolling out a typical "Texas Welcome" for the competitors. The drivers and crews will be treated to a Texas "Hoe-down" complete with a country and western band as well as a Texas-sized barbecue. As everyone knows "everything is bigger in Texas." Anyone familiar with Bruton Smith, Humpy Wheeler and Eddie Gossage know that they try to make sure that the fans get their money's worth of entertainment.
The track which is owned by Bruton Smith and managed by Eddie Gossage is known for it's spectacular sight lines and spectator friendly services. The ticket prices for the three-day week-end of racing are some of the most reasonable in all of motorsport. To contact the track for tickets call (817) 215-8500. The week-end of racing will include the Prototype and GTS race along with support racing of BF Goodrich Trans-Am, Women's Global GT, World Challenge and Star Mazda Series.