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American LeMans Series Consolidates Racing Classes for 2010

Peter Sygieda
Published: 2009-08-19 08:01:42
Last Updated: 2010-11-09 07:06:21

The American Le Mans Series is responding to economic conditions and the decline in the diversity of racing machinery on the grid by changing up the racing classes in its ranks for next season. Rather than imposing spending caps that would be tough to enforce, the series is adding new classes that are closer to production machinery.

Starting in 2010, the two-tier LMP1 and LMP2 categories will be merged into one LMP class, while a new LMP Challenge class will be added starting with the inclusion of Oreca's lower powered Formula Le Mans cars. However, the old system will remain in place for the Sebring 12 Hours and Petit Le Mans races so as to allow European teams to compete in the series' premier American races.

In the GT categories, GT2 class will be remade as GT in the wake of GT1's decline, with a new GT Challenge mirroring the LMP Challenge class for Porsche 911 GT3s. ALMS CEO Scott Atherton has left the door open to other GT3 competitors if they are interested, so hopefully we'll soon see the Audi R8 GT4 get the necessary mods to run in the GTC class.

The revised classifications should amount to more direct competition between
challengers – provided the standings don't get too convoluted by the premier event
exceptions.