ALMS looks for strength in numbers

With both of Audi’s LMP1 cars and the Penske/Porsche P2 team pulling out of this year’s ALMS, the American sports car series faces a tough season. Acura’s two new ARX-02a P1s and Rob Dyson’s Lola-Mazda P2s (above) are the ALMS’s big draws this year as it struggles to field more than 20 cars. Series boss Scott Atherton admits it will be difficult to pull together a strong field.

“Clearly the next couple of races are going to be challenging for us in terms of car count,” said Atherton at Sebring in March. “There’s no positive spin at this time to put on that. The challenge is that in North America right now there are few homologated LMP cars. Our expectations [in terms of numbers] for the next three races would be high teens with the potential for low twenties. If everything that’s available and all our hoped-for expectations come into place, it could easily be low twenties.”

Atherton believes as many as 25 cars, mostly GT2 entries, may start some races later this year. The GT1 factory Corvettes will race for the last time at Long Beach in April before the new GT2 car makes its debut at Mid-Ohio in August. “A completely new team [may] join us after Le Mans,” added Atherton. “We’re not in survival mode, we’re not teetering on the brink.”