2000 Las Vegas - ALMS

In 2000, the American Le Mans (ALMS) Series used the same rules as the 24-Hours of Le Mans race. This meant three classes:

  • Le Mans Prototype (LMP) – These were the purpose built race cars powered by a 6.0-litre normally aspirated or 4.0-litre turbocharged engine. The cars could weigh no less than 900-kilograms. In 2000, Audi announced its intention to run a two-car factory effort. BMW and Cadillac also entered two factory supported cars. Privateer teams entered cars such as the Riley & Scott MK III, Lola B2K/10 and Panoz LMP-1 Roadster.

  • Grand Touring Sport (GTS) – This class included production-based cars such as the Dodge Viper GTS-R, Chevrolet Corvette C5-R, Saleen S7-R and Porsche 911 Turbo. The cars were permitted to use 8.0-liter normally aspirated or 4.0-liter turbocharged engines. These cars could weigh no less than 1,100-kilograms.

  • Grand Touring (GT) – The GT cars were also restricted to an 1,100-kilogram weight rule and had similar engine limitations as the GTS class. These were also production-based cars such as the BMW M3, Porsche GT3R and Chevrolet Corvette C5-R. Unlike the GTS entries, competitors in this category could not use carbon fiber brakes.

    In its second season, the ALMS held twelve events at several new venues. The series opened in March with the 12-Hours of Sebring and ended in December at Adelaide, Australia. In between, there was one race in Canada, England and Germany with the remainder taking place in the United States.

    The penultimate round of the 2000 American Le Mans Series took place at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race was scheduled to be 2.45-hours in length on the 2.52-miles 'Roval' layout.

  • The event at Las Vegas was another fender bashing round for the Prototype class. The Panoz team, No. 77 Audi R8, Stefan Johansson's Reynard and the No. 42 BMW were all involved in on-track incidents. It was the No. 78 Audi of Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro that was able to avoid trouble and capture the win.
    The start at Las Vegas and the faster Prototypes have left the reminder of the field behind. As was often the case in 2000 the Vipers are first and second off the grid. The No. 91 Dodge Viper GTS-R driven by Olivier Beretta grabs the lead and it is the privately entered No. 25 Viper piloted by Tom Coronel that follows him.
    It was business as usual for Olivier Beretta and Karl Wendlinger. The ORECA duo captured the GTS pole and class win at Las Vegas. In fact, the pair won nine of the twelve rounds. Beretta finished first in the Driver's Championship and Wendlinger second. Their efforts earned Daimler Chrysler the Manufacturer's title.
    David Brabham and Jan Magnussen shared the No. 1 Panoz LMP-1 Roadster S. The duo had a very exciting weekend. Magnussen ran into the Audi of Allan McNish and was given a stop-and-go penalty. Brabham clipped Capello on a restart and was in turn hit by Stefan Johansson. However, the team was able to make repairs and they were able to finish sixth.
    The BMW V12 LMR was a very competitive car at the beginning of the 2000 season. After Le Mans Audi retired their old R8R in favour of their latest model. For the remainder of the series BMW competed for the runner-up spot. At Las Vegas the No. 42 finished twenty-sixth overall after it was involved in a restart accident and No. 43 took the last position on the podium.
    The No. 25 Chrysler Viper GTS-R driven by Tom Coronel and Mike Hezemans surprised many of the ALMS regulars. Although their reputation as race winning drivers preceded them they did not have the same support as the ORECA Dodges. The team qualified second in the GTS class but were the first retirement as the result of an engine failure.
    Jan Magnussen made an excellent start and slipped by the front row Audis. McNish in the No. 77 Audi R8 was in a hurry to get back out front and passed Magnussen on the first lap. As they entered the first turn, Magnussen hit McNish knocking him of course. McNish recovered to finish second and in the process captured the Driver's title.
    Vic Rice and Zak Brown had a great run at Las Vegas in the No. 08 Porsche 911 Turbo. They were able to finish fourth in the GTS class - on the same lap and immediately behind the factory entered Corvette driven by Justin Bell and Chris Kneifel.
    Jon Field and Rick Sutherland shared the No. 37 Judd-powered Lola B2K/10. The team started and finished eighth in the Prototype class. However, they only completed 108-laps and finished twenty-fifth overall.
    The LMP675 class did not compete as a separate championship in the ALMS series until 2001. Martin Snow and Gunnar Jeannette shared a Nissan-powered Lola B2K/40 at Las Vegas and finished seventh in the Prototype class.
    It was a tough weekend for the No. 2 Panoz LMP-1 Roadster S driven by Johnny O'Connell and Hiroki Katoh. They suffered a series of problems including a flat tire after contact. A bigger issue occurred on a restart when Katoh was hit from behind by Jorg Muller in a BMW V12 LMR. The damage was so severe that the Panoz retired on the spot.
    Sascha Maassen and Bob Wollek won the GT class in Dick Barbour's Porsche GT3R. They beat their teammates, Dirk Muller and Lucas Luhr, by a lap. Muller would take the 2000 GT Driver's Championship with Luhr finishing second and Maassen and Wollek would tie for third.
    The No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C5-R suffered a catastrophic tire failure on the front straight with Andy Pilgrim at the wheel. The rear bodywork exploded causing the car to spin and while going backwards the front window blew out. Needless to say, the team retired on the spot and finished sixth in the GTS class and thirtieth overall.
    Tom Milner entered three BMW M3s at Las Vegas. Peter Cunningham and Johannes van Overbeek drove No. 6 and finished tenth in the GT class. Faring much better was the No. 10, which finished fourth in the hands of Brian Cunningham and Nic Jonsson.
    The Corvettes were never a threat to the Vipers. The No. 4 car was shared by Chris Kneifel and Justin Bell. They were left to battle the Roock Motorsport Porsche after the retirements of their teammates and the Carsport Viper. Kneifel and Bell captured the last spot on the GTS podium.
    The race for GT class honours was between the Dick Barbour Porsches. The No. 5 pole-winning car driven by Lucas Luhr was leading the category when he hit Randy Pobst’s Alex Job Porsche GT3R. Luhr received a 'stop and go' penalty which left the second Barbour car of Bob Wollek and Sascha Maassen to score an easy victory.
    In the case of the GT class, Las Vegas Motor Speedway favoured the top speed of the Porsche GT3R. The highest placed BMW was the No. 7 driven by Hans Stuck and Boris. Some well-timed pit stops allowed the duo finish third, however, this was 2-laps behind the class winning Dick Barbour Porsche.
    The No. 92 Viper was driven by David Donohue and Tommy Archer. With the retirements of the Coronell/Hezemans Team Carsport Viper and Pilgrim/Fellows Corvette they had an easy run to a second in the GTS class. They may have challenged their teammates but an extra pit-stop was required for a driver change - Donohue needed seat time to score points.

    POS.CLASSDRIVERSCARENTRANTLAPSRETIREMENTS
    1LMPBiela / PirroAudi R8Audi Sport North America129-
    2LMPMcNish / CapelloAudi R8Audi Sport North America129-
    3LMPGounon / AuberlenBMW V12 LMRBMW Motorsport128-
    4LMPSchiattarella/deRadiguesLola B2K/10Team Rafanelli SRL125-
    5LMPSmith / JohanssonReynard 2KQJohansson Matthews Racing125-
    6LMPMagnussen / BrabhamPanoz LMP-1Panoz Motor Sports123-
    7GTSWendlinger / BerettaDodge ViperViper Team ORECA120-
    8GTSArcher / DonohueDodge ViperViper Team Oreca120-
    9GTSBell / KneifelChevrolet CorvetteCorvette Racing119-
    10GTSRice / BrownPorsche GT2Roock Motorsports119-
    11GTMaassen / WollekPorsche GT3RDick Barbour Racing118-
    12LMPSnow / JeannetteLola B2K/40Martin Snow Racing118-
    13GTMüller / LuhrPorsche GT3RDick Barbour Racing117-
    14GTSaid / StuckBMW M3Prototype Technology Group116-
    15GTCunningham / JönssonBMW M3Prototype Technology Group116-
    16GTSDefourny / BrunChrysler ViperChamberlain Motorsport116-
    17GTMurry / MowlemPorsche GT3RSkea Racing International115-
    18GTBundy / DeanPorsche GT3RSkea Racing International114-
    19GTPolk / McGlynnPorsche GT3RThe Racers Group112-
    20GTWillingham / HiskeyPorsche GT3RAlex Job Racing112-
    21GTWagner / FitzgeraldPorsche GT3RWhite Lightning Racing111-
    22GTCunningham/Van OverbeekBMW M3Prototype Technology Group110-
    23GTFoster / WankumPorsche GT3RKyser Racing109-
    24GTBuckler / CollinPorsche GT3RThe Racers Group109-
    25LMPField / SutherlandLola B2K/10Intersport Racing108-
    26LMPLehto / MüllerBMW V12 LMRBMW Motorsport106-
    27LMPO'Connell / KatouPanoz LMP-1Panoz Motor Sports81Accident
    28LMPKonrad / SlaterLola B2K/10Konrad Motorsport77Accident
    29GTPobst / LambertPorsche GT3RAlex Job Racing77-
    30GTSFellows / PilgrimChevrolet CorvetteCorvette Racing70Accident/Tire
    31LMPHawkins / KnightLola B2K/40Knight Hawk Racing65Engine
    32GTBouchut / BurgessPorsche GT3RSeikel Motor Sport53Gear Shift
    33GTLewis / LawPorsche GT3RMCR/Aspen Knolls19Engine
    34GTSCoronel / HezemansChrysler ViperCarsport Holland11Engine


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