A landmark joint operating agreement for the betterment of road racing in North America was announced today by the American Le Mans Series [ALMS], the International Motor Sports Association [IMSA] and SCCA Pro Racing Ltd.

The agreement was announced by Scott Atherton, president and CEO of the American Le Mans Series, and Steve Johnson, president and CEO of SCCA Pro Racing. The American Le Mans Series is sanctioned by the International Motor Sports Association [IMSA], while SCCA Pro Racing conducts the Speed World Challenge Series.

"This joint operating agreement is a landmark combining of efforts," said Atherton. "It is all in the name of providing a more successful and robust road racing platform for manufacturers, privateers, sponsors, tracks and, most importantly, fans.

"We are going to look at each organisation's core competencies and exploit them to the full benefit of the collective, combined effort to develop the brand of road racing in North America," said Atherton. "We will seek out and take advantage of every opportunity to assist and grow each series."

"Joining forces into one cohesive effort is a logical path for us in our effort to create not only the best road racing show, but the best road racing value," said Johnson. "The success and strength of North American road racing is contingent on relationships such as this one, and a joint effort between the strongest, most stable sanctioning bodies and series will only enhance our events and products."

Effective with the 2004 season, the ALMS and the Speed World Challenge will have a common schedule of race weekends. In addition, the two organisations will jointly apply their shared best practices to scheduling, track, pit and paddock administration, race control, safety teams and procedures and other administrative and operational elements of a race weekend.

The operating agreement will also include the sharing of marketing opportunities, including the ALMS and SCCA Pro combining efforts with the growing import-tuner motorsports scene and sharing existing relationships with Slipstream Global Marketing, a leading agency that administrates import-tuner activities at race tracks.

There will also be the establishment of an ALMS section in Sports Car Magazine, a publication that reaches 65,000 SCCA members and the linking of websites for the two organisations.

"This could be compared to a joint operating agreement between two airlines," said Atherton. "We will share assets and practices to make each other more efficient, and we feel that this combination of efforts will result in the finest road racing weekends in the world."



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