In 2000, the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) 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-litre normally aspirated or 4.0-litre 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.

    Round two of the 2000 American Le Mans Series was held at Lowes Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina. Lowes was a typical high-speed oval and located in the heart of NASCAR country. However, the track included an infield road course which started at the end of the front straight and returned to the oval just beyond turn one. In addition to the road course section, the series used most of the oval. A temporary chicane was placed just before turn three to slow the cars down. It was believed that without the chicane the Prototypes would reach 200-mph in the final two corners of the oval. Series officials and tire manufacturers felt that a driver error or mechanical failure could have serious consequences. In fact, the tire engineers were encouraging teams to change right-side tires after each stint – on a conventional road course most racing tires could be double stinted.

    This would be the first time since 1986 that professional sports cars had competed at this venue.

  • Many ALMS races were contested on "Rovals" during the 2000 season. These tracks were not particularly popular with the fans or teams. Round two at Charlotte was one of these tracks. This event only had twenty-three entries, which was attributed to the attrition in the previous race at Sebring and the factory teams preparing for Le Mans.
    Qualifying on the pole was the Schnitzer prepared BMW of J.J. Lehto and Jorg Muller. Two BMW V12 LMRs were entered and had proven very competitive during 1999. However, at the season opener in Sebring Audi entered their new R8 - finishing first and second. But the cars were returned to Europe in preparation for Le Mans. In the absence of the Audis, the No. 42 BMW was able to win the Prototype class.
    The No. 10 PTG BMW M3 of Peter and Brian Cunningham led the late stages of the race by a comfortable margin. However, a full course yellow with about twenty minutes remaining in the race bunched the field. The older BMW was no match for the new Porsche GT3R and the Cunningham duo was relegated to a second place finish.
    Bob Wollek and Sascha Maassen took the GT win in the Dick Barbour entered Porsche GT3R. The pair qualified on the class pole, however, they fell back at the start allowing their teammate Lucas Luhr to battle with the Alex Job entry of Randy Pobst. The pair worked their way back to the front and with approximately three-minutes remaining in the race took the class lead and win.
    Dindo Capello spins during the practice session. He shared last year’s Audi R8R with Allan McNish and Michele Alboreto. Unfortunately, he spun again during the race - damaging the car’s nose and setting up the race’s second caution period. The extended pit stop for repairs took the team out of contention - they finished eighth in the Prototype class and twentieth overall.
    The No. 91 ORECA Dodge Viper GTS-R started the 2000 season very strong. The team took the class and overall honours at the 24 Hours of Daytona and also captured the GTS class win at Sebring. Drivers Olivier Beretta and Karl Wendlinger continued this trend by taking the class pole and win at Charlotte.
    The trio of Brian Simo, Gunther Blieninger and Norman Simon drove the No. 02 Riley & Scott MK III. They started and finished eighth overall. This car was powered by the Judd GV 4.0-liter V10. At the time, this was a popular choice for many professional sports car racing teams. It was developed from the Judd GV10 which evolved from the company’s partnership with the Yamaha Formula 1 program.
    The No. 1 Panoz LMP-1 Roadster S was shared by Jan Magnussen and David Brabham. The duo qualified second with Magnussen taking the first stint behind the wheel. Early in the race, Magnussen passed pole sitter Lehto for the class and overall lead. Unfortunately, a poor pit stop by the Panoz team allowed the Lehto/Muller BMW to regain the lead where they would stay for the remainder of the race.
    The Alex Job Porsche GT3R driven by Randy Pobst took the early GT class lead but it was the team’s No. 22 car that had the better finish. Mike Fitzgerald and Robert Nagel started nineteenth overall and eighth in class. Through the misfortunes of other competitors and a steady pace the pair finished third in GT and twelfth overall.
    Gabriel Rafanelli’s Lola B2K/10 was driven by Mimmo Schiattarella and Didier de Radigues. Rafanelli was known for fielding very competitive cars. Prior to the Lola the team had a great deal of success with a highly developed Riley & Scott MK III. The new Judd-powered Lola was able to hold its own against the factory cars finishing third at Charlotte in front of a BMW and Panoz.
    Since 1996 the French Viper Team Oreca had been developing the Viper GTS-R. It was hard to bet against them as they had the speed and reliability. At Charlotte the No. 92 car driven by Tommy Archer and David Donohue qualified second in GTS. However, on only the fifth lap the car developed a serious transmission problem. Repairs were made and the team finished 22-laps behind the GTS winner.

    1LMPLehto / MüllerBMW V12 LMRBMW Motorsport125-
    2LMPMagnussen / BrabhamPanoz LMP-1 RoadsterPanoz Motor Sports125-
    3LMPSchiattarella/de RadiguesLola B2K/10Team Rafanelli SRL124-
    4LMPGounon / AuberlenBMW V12 LMRBMW Motorsport124-
    5LMPO'Connell / KatouPanoz LMP-1 RoadsterPanoz Motor Sports124-
    6LMPBiela / PirroAudi R8RAudi Sport North America122-
    7GTSWendlinger / BerettaDodge Viper GTS-RViper Team ORECA117-
    8LMPSimo / Simon / BlieningerRiley & Scott Mk IIIPole-Team117-
    9GTWollek / MaassenPorsche 911 GT3RDick Barbour Racing113-
    10GTCunningham/CunninghamBMW M3Prototype Technology Group113-
    11GTSBrown / RicePorsche 911 GT2Roock Motorsports112-
    12GTFitzgerald / NagelPorsche 911 GT3RAlex Job Racing111-
    13GTStuck / Van OverbeekBMW M3Prototype Technology Group111-
    14GTMowlem / MurryPorsche 911 GT3RSkea Racing International110-
    15GTWahl / JeannettePorsche 911 GT3RWhite Lightning Racing109-
    16GTLewis / WagnerPorsche 911 GT3RMCR/Aspen Knolls108-
    17GTPobst / LambertPorsche 911 GT3RAlex Job Racing106-
    18GTWillingham / SkeaPorsche 911 GT3RSkea Racing International104-
    19GTSArcher / DonohueDodge Viper GTS-RViper Team ORECA95-
    20LMPMcNish/Capello/AlboretoAudi R8RAudi Sport North America93-
    21GTMüller / LuhrPorsche 911 GT3RDick Barbour Racing91-
    22GTSGodin / ShalalaPorsche 911 GT2Don McGill.com79Oil Line
    23GTBarbosa / JamesPorsche 911 GT3RMCR/Nygmatech74Accident

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