The American Le Mans Series has confirmed that it will continue to operate a GT1 class during the 2009 season, despite the impending move of the factory Corvette Racing team to GT2.

Corvette will make the switch after the Le Mans 24 Hours and is due to take in selected ALMS events prior to the La Sarthe classic in preparation for the round the clock event - when it will then focus its attention on the GT2 class battle.

Having been the only full-season contenders in the GT1 class in recent seasons, that move has led to suggestions that the GT1 class could be scrapped but the ALMS has confirmed that the class will continue although any possible entries must show they are competitive and not there simply to take advantage's of Corvette's absence.

"The GT1 class is not going away," a statement issued during the Sebring Winter Test, read. "The American Le Mans Series is still a four-class series; it follows the ACO rules and remains affiliated with the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

"The Series encourages competitive entries to GT1 class; however it does not currently believe there are any such competitors in the pipeline. Therefore, the Series sees an opportunity to create a very competitive GT class within GT2. Additionally, the Series and IMSA will not allow a non-competitive entrant into GT1 class simply to accumulate points and victories due to a lack of competition once Corvette Racing moves to the GT2 class from GT1 after the 24 Hours of Le Mans."