The American Le Mans Series (ALMS) was founded in 1999 by entrepreneur Don Panoz. The series has a licensing agreement with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), which is the sanctioning body for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. As a result, the ALMS rules are aligned with those used at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Within each race, four classes are competing for the overall victory, as well as the category win.

  • Le Mans Prototype 1 (LMP1) – This is the fastest group. These are purpose-built race cars powered by a 6.0-liter normally aspirated or 4.0-liter turbocharged engine, which produces 750-800-horsepower. The vehicles could weigh no less than 900-kilograms (1,980-pounds) and car reach speeds over 200-mph. Teams enter cars manufactured by Riley & Scott, Lola, Dallara, Audi and Panoz.
  • Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) – The Le Mans Prototype 2 category was introduced in 2001 as LMP675. This group was renamed in 2004 when the minimum weight requirement was increased from 675-kilograms to 700-kilograms (1,653-pounds). The rules for the vehicles are written so that the two LMP classes (LMP1 and LMP2) could contend for the overall win.
  • Grand Touring Sport (GTS) – This class includes production-based cars such as the Dodge Viper GTS-R, Chevrolet Corvette C5-R, Saleen S7-R and Ferrari 550 Maranello. The vehicles are permitted to use 8.0-liter normally aspirated or 4.0-liter turbocharged engines, which produce 550-600-horsepowers. These cars are almost as quick as the Prototypes achieving speeds of 180-195-mph.
  • Grand Touring (GT) – The GT cars are restricted to a 1,100-kilogram weight rule. This category also included production-based vehicles. Competitors raced cars such as the BMW M3, Porsche GT3RSR and Ferrari 360 Modena. Unlike the GTS entries, teams in this category cannot use carbon fiber brakes.

The ALMS schedule included nine North American events in 2004. The opening round is the 12 Hours of Sebring in March. The series takes an extended break to accommodate teams participating in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. After Le Mans, teams travel to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for round two. Mid-Ohio is followed by Connecticut’s Lime Rock Park. In July, the series makes a west coast swing with race weekends at Infineon Raceway and Portland International Raceway. Next, teams travel north of the border for their only Canadian stop at Mosport International Raceway. Then it is back to the United States and a stop for competitors at Road America in Wisconsin. The penultimate round is Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. This is an important weekend as it serves as a qualifying event for the 2005 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Class winners receive an automatic invitation to compete in the French classic. The 2004 season ends at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with a four-hour race into the darkness.

Mosport International Raceway hosted round six of the 2004 American Le Mans Series. Teams would compete for two-hours, forty-five-minutes around the 2.459-mile ten-turn road course in an event called the Toronto Grand Prix of Mosport.

The Prototype 1 leaders enter corner one in the order they qualified. At the head of the pack is James Weaver in the Dyson Racing Lola EX257. Behind Weaver is the other front row starter, J.J. Lehto driving the Champion Racing Audi R8. In third place is the second Dyson entry with Chris Dyson behind the wheel of the Lola. Trailing Dyson is the Intersport Lola of John Field and the two factory Chevrolet Corvettes.
Dyson Racing got off to a good start when James Weaver put the team’s No. 16 Lola EX257 on the pole. The team had qualified in the top spot twice this season but were unable to deliver a win – that would change a Mosport. Weaver, along with his co-driver, Butch Leitzinger, exchanged the lead during the race with the point’s leaders from Champion Racing. After 137-laps, the duo earned their first victory of the season.
At the beginning of the weekend, the entry list for the GTS category looked promising. Unfortunately, when Krohn-Barbour Racing withdrew their Lamborghini, the outcome of the race became predictable – it was just a case of which Corvette would win. The No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette of Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta started on the class pole and led flag-to-flag for their second victory of 2004.
For the fourth consecutive race weekend, the Intersport Racing Lola B2K/40 was on the Prototype 2 class pole. Clint Field handled the honours and was 2.094-seconds quicker than the Miracle Motorsports LMP2 entry driven by James Gue. The main opposition for Field and his teammate, Robin Liddell, would be the Team Bucknum but they lost an engine before qualifying. It was an easy victory for the pair, they won by 16-laps.
Alex Job Racing drivers, Timo Bernhard and Jorg Bergmeister, won the GT class at Mosport International Raceway. It was Bernhard’s third victory of the season and number two for Bergmeister. Their Porsche GT3RSR started twelfth overall and third in class. While the competition encountered challenges, the No. 23 Porsche had a clean run. Their margin of victory over the White Lightning Porsche was 17.014-seconds.
The Prototype 1 point’s leaders heading into round six were J.J. Lehto and Marco Werner of Champion Racing. Driving the No. 38 Audi, they had four consecutive victories. Lehto started second and chased the Dyson Racing Lola, driven by James Weaver. Weaver’s pace was playing havoc with the Audi’s tires. An issue with the left front tire caused Lehto to go off course at turn five. The pair rebounded and finished second.
The overall and Prototype 1 class podium at Mosport International Raceway for round six of the 2004 American Le Mans Series. In the center are the winners for the first time this season - Dyson Racing’s, James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger. The pair is joined by team principal, Rob Dyson. On the left side of the rostrum are the runner-ups, J.J. Lehto and Marco Werner. Completing the podium are Chris Dyson and Andy Wallace.
The GTS point’s leaders entering Mosport were Johnny O’Connell and local favourite, Ron Fellows. In qualifying, Fellows missed capturing the pole-position by just 0.012-seconds. During the race, the two Corvettes ran nose-to-tail with the Oliver Gavin / Olivier Beretta entry leading the way. O’Connell and Fellows matched their teammate’s pace but couldn’t find a way past and finished 0.240-seconds behind the class winners.
The Peterson White Lightning drivers, David Murry and Craig Stanton, had three podium finishes to date but were looking for that first class victory. Murry was fourth fastest in the GT qualifying session. The pair were in contention during the event but were delayed by a problem with the under tray. Despite this issue, they found themselves leading in the final 30-minutes but a quick splash for gas dropped them to second place.
Finishing third in Prototype 1 was Dyson Racing’s second entry driven by Chris Dyson and Andy Wallace. They started the event third in class and overall but were unable to maintain the pace set by their teammates and the Champion Racing Audi R8. They attributed their poor performance to an understeer issue during the first stint. Although not in contention, the pair secured a third-place finish for their fourth podium of the season.
Flying Lizard Motorsports entered two Porsche GT3RSR in the GT category. The quicker of the two Porsches is the No. 45 piloted by Johannes van Overbeek and Darren Law. But not this weekend, it was Lonnie Pechnik who captured the class pole. In the race, their time in the spotlight was short-lived and the usual class contenders moved to the front – including their teammates, van Overbeek and Law, who finished third.
Krohn-Barbour Racing entered two Lamborghini Murcielago R.GT. Unfortunately, they were withdrawn prior to qualifying. During the Friday and Saturday practice sessions, the drivers were challenged by poor handing. The team discovered there was gradual deformation of the cars’ rear lower suspension wishbones. As a result, the drivers were required to hold the steering wheel off-center to drive in a straight line.
Alex Job Racing’s Marc Lieb and Roman Dumas were delivering inconsistent results. The pair were victorious at Portland but earlier in the year, they finished seventh at Mid-Ohio. Mosport would be on their list of disappointments during the 2004 season. It started well with Lieb qualifying second in class. Unfortunately, he had just taken the lead when he slid off the track and made contact with the turn two wall.
The GT class podium at Mosport for round six of the 2004 American Le Mans Series. In the center are the category winners, Timo Bernhard and Jorg Bergmeister. A class victory at Sebring with Sascha Maassen gave Bernhard the points lead. On the left of the rostrum are the second-place finishers, David Murry and Craig Stanton. The final spot on the podium is occupied by Johannes van Overbeek and Darren Law.

1P1Weaver / LeitzingerLola EX257137-
2P1Lehto / WernerAudi R8137-
3P1Dyson / WallaceLola EX257135-
4GTSGavin / BerettaChevrolet Corvette C5.R129-
5GTSFellows / O'ConnellChevrolet Corvette C5.R129-
6P2C.Field / LiddellLola B2K/40127-
7GTSBorcheller/ MowlemSaleen S7R125-
8GTBernhard / BergmeisterPorsche GT3RSR120-
9GTMurry / Stanton/ PetersenPorsche GT3RSR120-
10GTvan Overbeek / LawPorsche GT3RSR120-
11GTKelleners / LazzaroFerrari 360 Modena GTC119-
12GTWagner / Long Porsche GT3RSR119-
13GTPechnik / Neiman Porsche GT3RSR118-
14GTJackson / Sugden Porsche GT3RSR117-
15GTJeannette / Saelens Panoz Esperante GTLM116-
16GTHindery / Maassen Porsche GT3RSR116-
17GTSWeickardt / Belloc Dodge Viper GTS-R116-
18GTBurgess / MasaratiPorsche GT3RS116-
19P2James / Macaluso / Gue Lola B2K/40111-
20GTDumas / LiebPorsche GT3RSR96-
21P1Field / JonssonLola B16217Suspension
22P2Bucknum / Willman / McMurryPilbeam MP910Did Not Start
23GTSBrabham / KoxLamborghini Murcielago R-GT0Did Not Start
24GTSKrohn / MaxwellLamborghini Murcielago R-GT0Did Not Start

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