Le Mans racing, joining IndyCar Series, coming to Baltimore

Joins IndyCar Series race on 2011 Labor Day weekend

August 26, 2010|By Don Markus, The Baltimore Sun

The ALMS race is coming to Baltimore.

ALMS — the American Le Mans Series — will join the IndyCar Series for races on downtown streets over Labor Day weekend 2011.

While an official announcement is expected at a news conference Wednesday that will be attended by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and officials from Baltimore Racing Development, a spokesman for ALMS confirmed that the Oklahoma-based racing organization will be bringing its 34 teams to Baltimore.

While not sayning whether a contract had been signed, Bob Dickinson said, "I doubt we'd be up there (for the press conference) if we didn't have a race planned."

It will mark the first time since a ALMS race was held in Washington in 2002 that big-time professional racing comes to the region.

The ALMS race will be held on the Saturday before Labor Day, with the IndyCar race on Sunday. IndyCar practices will be held along with ALMS time trials on Friday. The IndyCar time trials will be held Saturday before the ALMS race.

Dickinson said that the American Le Mans Series, which began in 1999, has one race, in Sebring, Fla. that is similar to the legendary 24-hour race in Le Mans, France, and other races last as long as 10 hours or 1000 miles, but that races in the series are typically two hours and 45 minutes.

Baltimore Racing promoters have declined to comment further about the races until the official announcement next week.

Dickinrson said that the 34 racing teams encompass four separate racing classes, meaning that the cars are capable of going at different speeds. As a result, Dickinson said "there's lots passing." The courses are typically two to three miles.

The ALMS racing is the first series to be approved by the EPA and given green status. The ALMS cars use five different types of alternative fuels and energy surces.

don.markus@baltsun.com.

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