2002 was the fourth season for the American Le Mans Series (ALMS). The rules for the series followed those of the legendary 24 Hour of Le Mans which meant there were four classes.

  • Le Mans Prototype 900 (LMP900) – These were the purpose-built race cars powered by a 6.0-liter normally aspirated or 4.0-liter turbocharged engine. The cars could weigh no less than 900-kilograms. Audi, BMW and Cadillac entered two factory supported cars. Privateer teams entered cars manufactured by Riley & Scott, Lola and Panoz.
  • Le Mans Prototype 675 (LMP675) – Introduced in 2001 was the LMP675 class for cars which could weigh no less than 675-kilograms. The rules were for the cars were written so that the two LMP classes (LMP900 and LMP675) would be contending for the overall win.
  • 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 GT3RS and Chevrolet Corvette C5-R. Unlike the GTS entries, competitors in this category could not use carbon fiber brakes.

The ALMS schedule included ten North American events in 2002. The opening round was the 12 Hours of Sebring. It was followed Sonoma, Mid-Ohio, Elkhart Lake and the inaugural National Grand Prix at Washington, D.C. After these weekends the championship headed to Canada with a stop at Trois-Rivieres and Mosport. The teams then travel west in September to compete at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The penultimate round will take place at the new Miami street circuit and the finale will be Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.

Mosport International Raceway hosted round seven of the American Le Mans Series. Twenty-seven entries would compete in the two-hour, forty-five-minute race around the 2.459-mile ten-turn road course.

The pole-winning Audi Sport North America Audi R8 driven by Frank Biela gets a jump on the field. Behind Biela, in the second Audi Sport North America R8 is the outside front row starter, Rinaldo Capello. Trailing the leaders is the Champion Racing Audi R8 with the third fastest qualifier, Stefan Johansson behind the wheel. Next to Johansson is J.J. Lehto in the No. 8 Cadillac Northstar LMP 02.
The three Audi R8s qualified in the top-three spots. The No. 2 R8 co-driven by Rinaldo Capello and Tom Kristensen started on the outside of the front row. During the race, an accident eliminated the No. 1 Audi and the Champion entry was penalized for avoidable contact with the GTS Olive Garden Ferrari. These events gave Capello and Kristensen a one-lap lead that they maintained to the conclusion of the race.
After Johnny O’Connell’s mishap at Trois-Rivieres the No. 3 Corvette team was seeking redemption. And, Ron Fellows was attempting to set the record for the most ALMS pole positions. Unfortunately, Fellows came up short when he was out-qualified by Terry Borcheller. In the race, it was business as usual for the pair. A superb strategy and excellent driving gave Fellows and O’Connell their fifth victory of the season.
The only team to beat the Alex Job Porsches this season has been Kevin Buckler’s The Racers Group. Buckler and the No. 66 Porsche GTRS were victorious at Mid-Ohio. This weekend, he was sharing the car with Brian Cunningham. They were gridded fourth in GT for the start of the race. Issues for the Alex Job team and well-timed pit-stops, allowed Buckler and Cunningham to dominate the competition and win by a margin of three-laps.
The LMP900 podium for the Mail2web.com Grand Prix of Mosport. Tom Kristensen and Rinaldo Capello earned their third and fourth wins, respectively, of the season for Team Joest. Standing to Kristensen and Capello’s right are the runner-up’s from Champion Racing, Johnny Herbert and Stefan Johansson. The final spot on the podium is occupied by Cadillac drivers, Max Angelelli and J.J. Lehto.
It was two consecutive LMP675 victories for Team Bucknum Racing. As usual, the qualifying was dominated by the Lola EX257 of Intersport and KnightHawk Racing. The first retirement of the event was the Intersport entry followed forty-seven laps later by KnightHawk. As a result, drivers, Jeff Bucknum, Chris McMurry and Bryan Willman grabbed the top spot and scored their third win of the season.
Defending LMP900 series champions, Emanuele Pirro and Frank Biela started on the pole for the fifth consecutive time this season. During the race, they battled with their teammates, Tom Kristensen and Rinaldo Capello and the Champion Audi driven by Johnny Herbert and Stefan Johansson. On lap-88, Pirro made hard contact with the corner-nine wall. He was knocked unconscious but became responsive while being removed from the car.
Another team to capitalize on the misfortunes of Alex Job Racing was Peter Baron’s Orit team. Baron and his teammate, Leo Hindery started fifth in the GT category. The pair were unable to maintain the early pace of the Alex Job Porsches or Kevin Buckler. Baron drove the final stint and was third in class after the Job team encountered issues. He was able to hold off a hard-charging, Sascha Maassen and finish second.
The LMP675 podium at the Grand Prix of Mosport included the same teams that finished in the top-three at Trois-Rivieres. In the center for the third time this season are Team Bucknum Racing drivers, Jeff Bucknum, Bryan Willman and Chris McMurry. On the left from Essex Racing are Melanie Paterson and Ross Bentley. Archangel drivers, Marc-Antoine Camirand, Ben Devlin and David Sterenberg, complete the rostrum.
In qualifying the Corvettes were outgunned by Terry Borcheller driving the Konrad Motorsport Saleen S7.R. At the end of the session, the No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette C5.R shared by Kelly Collins and Andy Pilgrim was third quickest in the GTS category. Along with their teammates, Ron Fellows and Johnny O’Connell they were able to get in front of the Saleen but the duo could not maintain the pace of the leader and finished second.
Sharing the Champion Racing Audi R8 were Stefan Johansson and Johnny Herbert. They started the race behind the two Audi Sport North America entries. During the race, Herbert moved into second place when Pirro crashed. In an attempt to stay with the leader, he made contact with the Olive Garden Ferrari. Herbert’s aggressive move earned him a ‘stop-and-go’ penalty which eliminated any chance for the victory, they finished second.
The American Le Mans Series podium for the GTS category at the Mail2web Grand Prix of Mosport. In the center for the fifth time in 2002 are the points leaders from Corvette Racing, Ron Fellows and Johnny O’Connell. On the left side of the podium are their teammates and second place finishers, Kelly Collins and Andy Pilgrim. The last position on the rostrum is occupied by Konrad Motorsport’s, Franz Konrad and Terry Borcheller.
Cadillac returned after skipping Trois-Rivieres and despite the news that GM would drop the program at the end of the season, there was a reason to be optimistic. In Friday’s practice session, J.J. Lehto was the quickest driving the No. 8 Cadillac. Sharing the car with Lehto was Max Angelelli. During the race, the duo was able to match the pace of the Audis but a faulty refueling rig took them out of contention, they finished third.
There were three Lola EX257 entered a Mosport and none of them fared very well in the race. Dyson Racing replaced their very successful Riley & Scott Mk III with a new Lola. James Weaver was prevented from qualifying the car when the throttle stuck. Weaver and his co-driver, Butch Leitzinger retired from the race after just twenty-eight laps. The Intersport and KnightHawk Racing entries showed great speed but also failed to finish.
The Alex Job team qualified first and second in the GT category with the No. 23 car shared by Lucas Luhr and Sascha Maassen starting on the pole. As usual, the team was expected to dominate the race but both cars encountered problems. The No. 22 Porsche was clipped by one of the Audis and suffered suspension damage. A poorly timed pit-stop and accident caused, Luhr and Maassen, to lose a lap and finish a distant third.
The American Le Mans Series podium for the GT category at the Mail2web Grand Prix of Mosport. In the center and capturing his second victory of the season is Kevin Buckler and his teammate for this event, Brian Cunningham. Standing to their right and earning their first runner-up finish of the season are Orbit’s, Peter Baron and Leo Hindery. Completing the podium are the points leader’s, Lucas Luhr and Sascha Maassen.

1LMP900Capello / KristensenAudi R8Audi Sport121-
2LMP900Johansson / HerbertAudi R8Champion Racing120-
3LMP900Angelelli / LehtoCadillac Northstar LMP02Team Cadillac119-
4LMP900Brabham / MagnussenPanoz LMP01Panoz Motor Sports118-
5LMP900Herta / AuberlenPanoz LMP01Panoz Motor Sports118-
6LMP900Collard / BernardCadillac Northstar LMP02Team Cadillac118-
7GTSFellows / O'ConnellChevrolet Corvette C5.RCorvette Racing113-
8GTSPilgrim / CollinsChevrolet Corvette C5.RCorvette Racing113-
9GTSKonrad / BorchellerSaleen S7.RKonrad Motorsport110-
10LMP900Field / NeuhausLola B2K/10Intersport108-
11LMP675McMurry / Willman / BucknumPilbeam MP84Team Bucknum Racing107-
12GTSFranchitti / BuntingDodge Viper GTS-RAmerican Viperacing107-
13GTBuckler / CunninghamPorsche GT3RSThe Racer's Group106-
14GTSWeickardt / AllenDodge Viper GTS-RAmerican Viperacing104Accident
15GTBaron / HinderyPorsche GT3RSOrbit103-
16LMP675Bentley / PatersonLola B2K/40Essex Racing103-
17GTMaassen / LuhrPorsche GT3RSAlex Job Racing103-
18GTSSchiattarella / NaspettiFerrari 550Team Olive Garden99-
19GTPlumb / Burgess / PabstPorsche GT3RSeikel Motorsport93Accident
20LMP675Devlin / Camirand / SterenbergLola B2K/40Archangel Motorsports91Engine
21GTSchrom / LawPorsche GT3RSThe Racer's Group91Accident
22LMP900Biela / PirroAudi R8Audi Sport166Accident
23GTBernhard / BergmeisterPorsche GT3RSAlex Job Racing85-
24LMP675Julien / MerzonPorsche GT3RSPorschehaus Racing70Accident
25LMP675Hurtgen / KnightLola EX257KnightHawk Racing59Mechanical
26LMP675Weaver / LeitzingerLola EX257KnightHawk Racing28Engine
27LMP675Field / DurandLola EX257Intersport Racing12Engine

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