The American Le Mans Series is heading for a reorganization that could result in a two-class structure for next season, series boss Scott Atherton has revealed.
In an interview in this week's AUTOSPORT magazine, Atherton said that the sanctioning body has "plans in the works" designed to ensure the survival of a series that has been hit by the economic downturn. He explained that there are several options, and refused to deny that the ALMS could run with just one prototype and one GT class next year.
"We've been working on our 2010 plans for months, and we have several different options that take into account different circumstances," said Atherton. "It's a case of if this happens, we do this, and if that happens, we do that."
As for the prospect of a single prototype class, Atherton said, "We at the ALMS have been outspoken in our interest in that, but we understand why there are two classes. At the Le Mans 24 Hours it makes perfect sense."
After an exceptional 2008 season in which Audi, Acura and Porsche battled for outright victories, ALMS grids dwindled this year following Audi's decision not to contest the championship and Porsche deciding not to renew its LMP2 project behind its initially planned three-year duration. With the ALMS now falling into line with Le Mans with the restrictions it placed on LMP2 performance, only the two LMP1 Acuras have been in contention for race wins at most rounds this year.
The GT classes have also been hit with some teams pulling out and GT1 disappearing altogether as Corvette prepared to switch to GT2, although conversely this has boosted the latter class, which had already benefited from the return of BMW this year.