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-litre normally aspirated or 4.0-litre 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-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 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.

2002 was the 50th Anniversary for the 12-Hours of Sebring. To honour this milestone, many special activities were planned:

  • the appearance of over thirty former Sebring winners
  • over 20 cars that had Sebring victories
  • the inaugural induction of drivers into the Sebring International Raceway Hall of Fame
  • a flyover by a B-17 as a tribute to the former WWII airbase known as Hendricks Field, which later became Sebring International Raceway

Sebring would mark the opening race of the 2002 American Le Mans Series season. Drivers would compete for twelve-hours around the seventeen-turn 3.74-mile road course.

The start of the 50th running of the 12-Hours of Sebring. Fifty-nine competitors head into Sebring International Raceway’s turn one. Leading the way are the two favourites for the overall and LMP900 class victory. The No. 1 Audi R8 started on the pole and was driven by Tom Kristensen, Emanuele Pirro and Frank Biela. Sharing the second Audi was Johnny Herbert, Rinaldo Capello and Christian Pescatori.
As expected, Audi won the LMP900 class and overall at the 12-Hours of Sebring. When the pole-winning Audi encountered issues, it was the No. 2 Audi R8 shared by Johnny Herbert, Rinaldo Capello and Christian Pescatori that upheld the manufacturer’s honour. Despite challenges from the Champion Audi and Panoz, the trio captured the victory. This was Capello’s second win but for the other two drivers, it was their first victory.
After qualifying it appeared that the biggest threat to Audi’s domination would come from the KnightHawk Racing LMP675 MG Lola EX257. However, the car fell out of contention early and it became apparent that the LMP675 category belonged to the Intersport team. Drivers, Jon Field, Duncan Dayton and Mike Durand, went unchallenged and won the class by a margin of fifty-two laps – they finished seventh overall.
Corvette Racing’s goal was to win all major endurance sports car events. Their list included Le Mans, Daytona and Petit Le Mans but Sebring had eluded them, until 2002. The No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C5.R driven by Ron Fellows, Johnny O’Connell and newcomer, Oliver Gavin completed the team’s bucket list. The trio started first in the GTS category and had a relatively trouble-free run to the class victory.
The Alex Job prepared Porsches were the cars to beat in the GT category. The No. 23 entry shared by Lucas Luhr and Sascha Maassen started first in class and thirty-second overall. After their teammates encounter a flywheel problem late in the event, it was ‘clear sailing’ to the GT victory for the duo. This was Luhr’s third consecutive win which put him an exclusive group of drivers that have accomplished the same feat.
Several GT teams benefitted from the misfortunes of the of the No. 22 Alex Job entry. One of these was the Seikel Motorsport prepared Porsche GT3RS driven by Hugh Plumb, Andrew Bagnall and Philip Collin. With 45-minutes left in the race the trio was third but when the Alex Job Porsche encountered a mechanical issue, they inherited the runner-up position – albeit eleven-laps behind the class winners.
Finishing second overall and in the LMP900 category was the Champion Racing Audi R8. Drivers, Andy Wallace, Jan Lammers and Stefan Johansson, started fifth but lost a lap early in the contest. The remainder of the event was a concerted effort by the trio to get back on the lead lap. They were unable to make up the deficit but finished eight-laps ahead of the third place Riley & Scott MK IIIC of Jim Matthews Racing.
The Jim Matthews Racing Riley & Scott MK IIIC was piloted by Marc Goossens, Guy Smith and team owner, Jim Matthews. The car was gridded ninth in class and tenth overall for the start of the twelve-hour contest. Issues with the pole-winning Audi, the Panoz Motor Sport entries and Team Cadillac allowed the trio to capture the final position on the LMP900 podium and to finish third overall.
The GTS class Saleen S7R entries were penalized by the ACO as they did not meet the minimum street car production requirements. As a result, the Saleens were required to carry an additional 70 kilos and the air intake was restricted by 15-percent. Quickest of these cars was the No. 26 Konrad entry driven by Terry Borcheller, Toni Seiler and team owner, Franz Konrad. The trio could not maintain the pace of the Corvettes and finished second in class.
The No. 60 P.K. Sport Porsche GT3RS was another beneficiary of the Alex Job flywheel issue. Drivers, Fabio Babini, Robin Liddell and Giovanni Anapoli, started the twelve-hour classic thirty-sixth overall and fourth in the GT category. With the demise of the Alex Job car, they inherited third in GT. Of note, the trio was on the same lap as the runner-up’s from Seikel Motorsport Porsche and fourth place The Racer’s Group entry.
The defending series champion, Emanuele Pirro and his co-drivers, Tom Kristensen and Frank Biela had good reason to be optimistic about their chances of winning after qualifying on the pole. But it was not to be their race as the usually reliable Audi suffered a power steering failure. The team lost nineteen laps while the crew completed repairs. At the checkered flag, they were fifth overall and in the LMP900 class.
One of the more interesting entries at this year’s 12-Hours of Sebring was the Spyker C8 Double 12. The Spyker is manufactured by the Dutch company, Spyker Cars. The Double 12 was the competition version of their street car and is powered by an Audi V8 engine. Sebring was the debut for this car which was driven by Peter Kox, Derek Hill and Hans Hugenholtz. Unfortunately, an incident on lap-92 forced the team to retire.
Finishing a distant second in the LMP675 category was the No. 40 Racing Organisation Course prepared Reynard 2KQ. Sharing the Volkswagen powered Reynard was the father and sons team of Jeffrey, Ryan and Jeff Jones. The trio qualified fifth in class and in the race were running well until a problem with the right rear suspension caused the car to spin. With the issue resolved the team continued and finished twenty-fifth overall.
The No. 86 Labre Competition Chereau Viper GTS-R qualified twenty-fifth overall and fourth in the GTS category. Sharing the Viper were French endurance racing veterans, Vincent Vosse, Christophe Bouchut and Jean-Luc Chereau. Benefitting from the misfortunes of the No. 4 Corvette Racing Chevrolet Corvette C5.R, they were able to capture the final spot on the class podium and finish eleventh overall.

1LMP900Capello/Herbert/PescatoriAudi R8Audi Sport346-
2LMP900Johansson/Lammers/WallaceAudi R8Champion Racing345-
3LMP900Goossens/Smith/MatthewsRiley & Scott Mk IIICJim Matthews Racing337-
4LMP900Leitzinger/EFR/WeaverRiley & Scott Mk IIIADyson Racing330-
5LMP900Biela/Kristensen/PirroAudi R8Audi Sport327-
6LMP900Collins/Vann/WilsonAscari KRZ1Team Ascari323-
7LMP675Field/Dayton/DurandMG Lola EX257Intersport Racing323-
8LMP900Herta/Auberlen/DonohuePanoz LMP01Panoz Motor Sports319-
9GTSFellows/O'Connell/GavinChevrolet CorvetteCorvette Racing317-
10GTSSeiler/Konrad/BorchellerSaleen S7-RKonrad Motorsport309-
11GTSVosse / Bouchut / ChereauDodge Viper GTS-RLarbre Competition309-
12GTMaassen / LuhrPorsche GT3RSAlex Job Racing306-
13GTSPilgrim / Collins / FréonChevrolet CorvetteCorvette Racing306-
14GTPlumb / Bagnall / CollinPorsche GT3RSSeikel Motor Sport295-
15GTBabini / Liddell / AnapoliPorsche GT3RSP.K. Sport295-
16GTNagel / Pace / SchumacherPorsche GT3RSThe Racer's Group295-
17GTMasarati / Alexander / DemeroutisPorsche GT3RSP.K. Sport291-
18GTSLewis / Goldrich / FairbanksDodge Viper GTS-RAmerican Viperacing289-
19GTBorkowski / Baron / HinderyPorsche GT3RSOrbit287-
20GTClement / Ahrle / SimmenauerPorsche GT3RSLarbre Competition286-
21GTCaffi / Riccitelli / RosaPorsche GT3RSSeikel Motorsport285-
22GTBernhard / Bergmeister / LiebPorsche GT3RSAlex Job Racing277Mechanical
23GTVance / Forgeois / SouthardPorsche GT3RSFreisinger Motorsport275-
24LMP900Schroeder / Dyson / DysonRiley & Scott Mk IIIADyson Racing Team273-
25LMP675Jones / Jones / JonesReynard 2KQROC271-
26LMP675Fergus / Downing / TeradaAutoExe LMP-02AutoExe Motorsports267-
27LMP900Collard / Bernard / LehtoCadillac NorthstarTeam Cadillac256Mechanical
28LMP675Kane / Lally / KnightMG Lola EX257KnightHawk Racing256-
29LMP900Lupberger / Bell / KolbyAscari KRZ1Team Ascari255-
30GTSMenu / Rydell / EngeFerrari 550Prodrive252-
31LMP900Angelelli / Taylor / TinseauCadillac NorthstarTeam Cadillac236-
32LMP675Daoudi / De Fournoux / SmithWR LMP 02Welter Racing232Mechanical
33GTSBingham / MacLeod / RiceSaleen S7-RPark Place Racing228Mechanical
34GTNegri / Garbagnati / VanniniFerrari 360 ModenaJMB Racing228-
35GTSHezemans / Kumpen / CappellariDodge Viper GTS-RCarsport Holland194Mechanical
36LMP900Jeannette / Block / JacksonPanoz LMP01Gunnar Racing148Mechanical
37LMP900deRadigues/Lambert/SutherlandPanoz LMP07MBD Sportscar146Fire
38GTRymer / Youles / MowlemPorsche GT3RHarlow Motorsport144Mechanical
39LMP675Foster / Wankum / BundyLola B2K/40Kyser Racing139Accident
40LMP675Deletraz / Pillon / SmithsonReynard 2KQROC134Engine
41GTWilson / Gleason / DawsonPorsche GT3RCirtek Motorsport134Engine
42GTSchultheis / Willingham / KesterPorsche GT3RSOrbit107Accident
43GTSGregg / Weickardt / BuntingDodge Viper GTS-RAmerican Viperacing104-
44GTKox / Hill / HugenholtzSpyker C8Spyker Squadron92Accident
45LMP900Duno / Maxwell / GrahamPanoz LMP07MBD Sportscar78Mechanical
46LMP900Brabham / Magnussen / van de PoelePanoz LMP01Panoz Motor Sports56Mechanical
47LMP900Macaluso / Neuhaus / BrickellLola B2K/10Intersport53Accident
48GTMurry / Jackson / FitzgeraldPorsche GT3RSJ3 Racing53Accident
49GTBuckler / Schrom / LawPorsche GT3RSThe Racer's Group42Accident
50GTHayden / Griffiths / EarlePorsche GT3RSebah Automotive37Engine
51GTSMcKellar / Erdos / JohnsonSaleen S7-RGraham Nash Mtspt36Mechanical
52GTArgetsinger/Hunter-Reay/MonterminiFerrari 360 ModenaJMB Racing28Mechanical
53LMP675McMurry / Willman / EhretPilbeam MP84Team Bucknum Racing21Engine
54LMP900Theys / Lienhard / BaldiDallara SP1Doran Lista Racing20Accident
55GTFertl / Dumas / AmorimPorsche GT3RSFreisinger Motorsport19Fire
56GTFranchitti / KellenersFerrari 360 ModenaMSB Motorsports12Engine
57LMP675Bucknum / Downs / ZiegelmanPilbeam MP84Team Bucknum Racing11Engine
58GTSSchiattarella/Naspetti/CecottoFerrari 550Team Olive Garden11Mechanical
59GTSSlater / Pickering / BrunSaleen S7-RKonrad Motorsport44Disqualified
60LMP675Veilleux / Julien / MerzonLola B2K/40Porschehaus Racing0Did Not Start
61LMP900Mirro / Forgeois / O'BornNorma M2000Sezio Florida Racing 0Did Not Start

Copyright Notice:
All content (photographs and text) appearing on this website are the exclusive property of © www.zoompics.com and are protected under International copyright laws. The subject matter on this website may not be reproduced, copied, stored or manipulated.

© Copyright 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018

Return to home page.