The excitement is already building for the International SportsCar Weekend, featuring the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón and the FIA World Endurance Championship. On Sunday, Sept. 15, ALMS teams Extreme Speed Motorsports, Paul Miller Racing, Performance Tech Motorsports, and Houston-based Risi Competizione, will be testing at the Circuit of The Americas in advance of next weekend's racing action.
ESM Racing comes to the Circuit ranked 2nd in the P2 class after a podium finish in Baltimore. Performance Tech looks to continue their success after a win at Baltimore in the Prototype Challenge. Paul Miller Racing and Risi Competizione, who both compete in the GT category, are hoping to bounce back after being retired in the red-flagged Grand Prix of Baltimore. After testing the teams hope to have a better idea of what it will take to win on one of the world's premiere road courses.
Starting Friday, Sept. 20, Hollywood star and American Le Mans Series driver Patrick Dempsey will be on hand and ready to race. Dempsey has claimed the Le Mans series is “the biggest challenge” of his life thus far, and race fans will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the Dempsey Racing team during this accessible, family friendly event. Dempsey tackled prototype racing for the first time in the American Le Mans Series 2012, with Dempsey Racing making four starts in their debut season. Dempsey and his team also competed in the world-famous 24 Hours of Le Mans, which is part of the World Endurance Championship, another featured event on the Circuit’s International SportsCar weekend line-up.
Dempsey’s 24 Hours of Le Mans experience was chronicled through the new Velocity by Discovery Channel mini-series, Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans! The fourth and final episode of this compelling four-part series airs, Wednesday, Sept. 18, at 9 p.m. CT on the Velocity Channel (check your local satellite and cable TV listings for channel number.)
When the flag flies next Saturday, Circuit of The Americas is honored to have racing legend Bobby Rahal as the Honorary Starter for the American Le Mans Series race presented by Tequila Patrón (ALMS).
As a driver, Rahal won three championships and 24 races in the CART open-wheel series, including the 1986 Indianapolis 500, and competed in Formula 1™. He also won the 2004 Indianapolis 500 as a team owner for the winning driver, Buddy Rice. Rahal was an accomplished sports car racer and earned wins in the 1981 24 Hours of Daytona and 1987 12 Hours of Sebring and currently co-owns Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with LATE SHOW host David Letterman and businessman Mike Lanigan.
The team’s ALMS program, BMW Team RLL, won the 2010 GT team and manufacturers championships in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) with BMW, swept the top two spots in the 2011 Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring and secured 2011 ALMS GT drivers championships for Joey Hand and Dirk Mueller. Rahal was inducted into both the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2004 and the Sports Car Club of America Hall of Fame in 2013.
“It’s an honor to be asked to throw the Green Flag for the first of hopefully many exciting races for the series at Circuit of The Americas,” said motorsports legend Bobby Rahal. “I have looked forward to seeing the track in person for a while. It looks like a fantastic facility and is sure to produce great racing for the series.”
Three-day tickets for the International SportsCar Weekend at Circuit of The Americas are still available for $79 and allow guests the option of sitting in a reserved seat or viewing the action from one of the spacious general admission areas positioned around the 3.4-mile racetrack. Students and military members can purchase three-day tickets for $49 when they present a valid student or military ID at the Circuit Ticket Office. Children 12 and under receive free admission when accompanied by a ticketed adult.
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