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-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.

    Laguna Seca has been hosting sports car races since 1957. The scenic track located among the coastal hills of the Monterey Bay was a fitting venue for round-ten of the American Le Mans Series. It was one of the better-subscribed events on the 2000 schedule there were 39-entries with 36-starters and 27-finishers.

  • Rinaldo Capello grabbed the pole in the No. 77 Audi R8 that he shared with Allan McNish. Capello's car bogged on the start. By the time the field reached turn two, he was fifth and trailing the two Panoz and BMW entries. His teammate, Frank Biela, qualified third – starting behind him Biela was also impacted by Capello’s poor start.
    The ORECA Dodge Viper GTS-R of Olivier Beretta and Karl Wendlinger qualified third in the GTS class. However, the ability of the Michelin tires to heat up quickly allowed Beretta to pass the factory Corvettes and take the lead on the first lap. The No. 91 Viper remained unchallenged for the remainder of the race despite losing a wheel during a pit-stop.
    As mentioned above, Capello put the car on the pole but fell back at the start and in turn two on the first lap he hit Jean-Marc Gounon’s BMW. Capello and McNish were able to overcome these problems. And, with the retirement of the Magnussen/Brabham Panoz they were able to score the victory.
    The Prototype Technology Group BMW M3 driven by Nic Jonsson and Brian Cunningham goes wide at turn eleven during practice. The No. 10 entry would capture the final position on the GT podium. Their PTG teammates Boris Said and Hans Stuck took the class victory.
    Jorg Muller and J.J. Lehto drove the No. 42 BMW V12 LMR. Lehto was able to qualify the car third and led briefly until he spun in turn three on some oil from Kevin Buckler's Porsche. At the end of 119-laps, Muller finished 11-seconds behind the second place Audi R8 shared by Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro.
    Laguna Seca was the first of three 2000 American Le Man Series races entered by Franz Konrad. He shared his Ford-powered Lola B2K/10 with Charlie Slater. At Laguna they started eleventh in the Prototype class and finished eighth – 12-laps behind the leaders. At the season finale in Adelaide, Australia he would fare much better – finishing second to the factory Audi.
    Frank Biela and Emanuele Pirro led during the middle stages of the race in the No. 78 Audi R8. After a series of pit-stops they lost their lead to teammate Allan McNish. With the Driver’s Championship still on the line, Pirro seemed content to follow his teammate. Biela and Pirro would finish second in the Prototype class.
    At Laguna Seca Stefan Johansson and Guy Smith had one of their better outings. While the Judd V10 engine proved to be a competitive package the Reynard 2KQ chassis had many issues. The duo finished fifth just six-seconds behind Jean-Marc Gounon and Bill Auberlen in the second factory BMW V12 LMR.
    An incident at the start caused the No. 6 PTG BMW M3 shared by Johannes van Overbeek and Peter Cunningham to be the first retirement. Van Overbeek lost the right front wheel before the car came to a stop at corner two.
    The No. 5 Dick Barbour Porsche GT3R was driven by Dirk Muller and Lucas Luhr. The sister car of Sascha Maassen and Bob Wolleck follows them through the Corkscrew. The team qualified first and second in the GT class but it was a disastrous weekend for the team after Muller knocked Maassen into the gravel pit and then retired with suspension damage.
    On the second lap, David Donohue's Viper ran into the back of Justin Bell's Corvette. The right rear of the Corvette which Bell shared with Chris Kneifel was damaged and the team lost 2-laps performing repairs. After the incident, the car was never a factor in the race. Apparently, Donohue felt that the Corvette driver was at fault for braking early but he was fined a $1,000 by series officials.
    The Saleen/Allen Speedlab Saleen S7R made its debut at Laguna Seca with Tommy Kendall, Ron Johnson and Terry Borcheller sharing the driving duties. Kendall had the car in third place before transmission problems dropped the team to a sixth place in the GTS class. One of the drivers christened the car during the Friday afternoon practice session.
    Ending Porsche’s 13-race winning streak were Hans Stuck and Boris Said driving the PTG BMW M3. Even more remarkable they started eighth in the very competitive GT class. At the checkered flag they were a lap ahead of their next in class competitor - the Porsche GT3R of Bruno Lambert and Randy Pobst.
    Finishing second to the GTS class winning Viper was the Chevrolet Corvette C5-R shared by Ron Fellows and Andy Pilgrim. Fellows captured the class pole followed by his Corvette teammate Kelly Collins. Unfortunately, for the Corvette drivers, the Viper of Beretta and Wendlinger took the lead on the first lap and never looked back.
    Cadillac made their last appearance of the 2000 season at Laguna Seca. The Cadillac LMP was powered by the division’s Northstar engine and driven by Max Angelelli and Wayne Taylor. They started tenth and finished seventh - eight laps behind the race winning Audi R8.
    Qualifying third in the GT class was the Porsche GT3R of Randy Pobst and Bruno Lambert. When the two Dick Barbour cars encountered problems, Pobst inherited the class lead. Unfortunately, for the pair, a combination of a poor handling car, cracked header and a stop-and-go penalty for speeding dropped them to a second in the GT class.

    1LMPMcNish / CapelloAudi R8Audi Sport North America119-
    2LMPBiela / PirroAudi R8Audi Sport North America119-
    3LMPLehto / MüllerBMW V12 LMRBMW Motorsport119-
    4LMPGounon / AuberlenBMW V12 LMRBMW Motorsport116-
    5LMPSmith / JohanssonReynard 2KQ JuddJohansson Matthews Racing116-
    6LMPField / SutherlandLola B2K/10 JuddIntersport Racing112-
    7LMPTaylor / AngelelliCadillac NorthstarTeam Cadillac111-
    8GTSBeretta / WendlingerDodge Viper GTS-RViper Team Oreca109-
    9GTSPilgrim / FellowsChevrolet CorvetteCorvette Racing109-
    10GTSDonohue / ArcherDodge Viper GTS-RViper Team Oreca109-
    11LMPSnow / JeannetteLola B2K/40 NissanMartin Snow Racing108-
    12LMPKonrad / SlaterLola B2K/10 FordKonrad Motorsport107-
    13GTSBell / CollinsChevrolet CorvetteCorvette Racing105-
    14GTSaid / StuckBMW M3 E46Prototype Technology Group105-
    15GTSWatson / DunoChrysler ViperChamberlain Motorsport104-
    16GTPobst / LambertPorsche GT3RAlex Job Racing104-
    17GTJönsson / CunninghamBMW M3 E46Prototype Technology Group104-
    18GTWagner / FitzgeraldPorsche GT3RWhite Lightning Racing103-
    19GTBouchut / BurgessPorsche GT3RSeikel Motor Sport103-
    20GTLewis / LawPorsche GT3RMCR/Aspen Knolls102-
    21GTStanton / Wankum / DoffPorsche GT3RKyser Racing100-
    22GTMcGlynn / OrcuttPorsche GT3RThe Racers Group100-
    23LMPO'Connell / KatouPanoz LMP-1Panoz Motor Sports99Accident
    24LMPSchiattarella / de RadiguesLola B2K/10 RafanelliTeam Rafanelli SRL98Engine
    25GTDean / Skea / BundyPorsche GT3RSkea Racing International98-
    26GTSKendall/Johnson/BorchellerSaleen S7-RSaleen/Allen Speedlab97-
    27GTMüller / LuhrPorsche GT3RDick Barbour Racing96-
    28GTBaron / HinderyPorsche GT3ROrbit96-
    29GTMaassen / WollekPorsche GT3RDick Barbour Racing93-
    30GTSWilkins / LaceyPorsche 911 GT2Multimatic Motorsports84Wheel
    31LMPMagnussen / BrabhamPanoz LMP-1Panoz Motor Sports66Engine
    32GTMowlem / MurryPorsche GT3RSkea Racing International36Clutch
    33GTBuckler / CollinPorsche GT3RThe Racers Group29Engine
    34LMPHawkins / KnightLola B2K/40 NissanPhillips Motorsports, Inc.5Engine
    35GTSBrown / RicePorsche GT3RRoock Motorsport3Electrical
    36GTVanOverbeek/CunninghamBMW M3 E46Prototype Technology Group1Accident

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