With the American Le Mans Series working hard to try and attract greater numbers of prototypes to their races, the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) have announced that it has extended the eligibility of all LMP cars in the series, giving teams more choice for the next two years.

LMP cars that were homologated under the 2003 ACO LMP900 and P675 specs, including those based on the SR specifications, have been extended effective through the end of December 2006.

Importantly the bulletin also extends the eligibility of hybrid cars that conform to the ACO's rules in the ALMS through the end of 2007. Those cars are currently eligible in ACO competition until the end of 2006. The hybrid regulations provide a mechanism for 2003 specification cars to convert their aerodynamic package to match the 2005 specifications.

This means that cars like the Audi R8, and the Lola EX257 and B2K/40, as well as cars like the factory Zytek and others running in European competition, will be allowed to run in the American Le Mans Series next year. IMSA, the sanctioning body of the ALMS, has mandated that the cars will run based on the ACO-specified configuration for 2005.

"The prototype field is going though an important transition between the older regulations and the new regulations," said IMSA Chief Operating Officer, Tim Mayer. "This bulletin opens the field up to a wide variety of cars while this transition is taking place, while providing teams with a clear path that they can follow all the way through 2008 and beyond."

Cars extended in the ALMS will not be able to compete at Le Mans or any other ACO-sanctioned events once their ACO homologation period has ended. Any ALMS results or points accrued by such cars will not factor into the eligibility for Le Mans related events, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

As in similar cases, IMSA has the right to adjust its regulations to provide for better racing and competition for ALMS teams and fans



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