On the heels of OKC Motorsports' announcement of its plans to host an American Le Mans Series race in Oklahoma City, series president and CEO Scott Atherton confirmed that the street race is just a part of the series' ongoing efforts to expand its schedule.
Targeted for 2013, a race in Oklahoma City's Adventure District would likely take place the third week in May, falling between Mother's Day and Memorial Day. The mid-May date also would give teams competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans ample time to transport their cars to the French classic. OKC Motorsports President and CEO Mike McAuliffe, who has been instrumental in bringing drag boat racing to Oklahoma City's downtown riverfront, has indicated that next steps for the proposed race include a site inspection with ALMS officials, confirmation of the track layout and solidifying local business and political support. The series' agreement provides for an exclusive planning period for the event with OKC Motorsports.
Atherton hinted of growth in the series' schedule, not only in quantity, but in enhanced diversity of race markets and venues as well.
"IMSA and the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón always look for markets that would enhance the objectives of our corporate partners as well as ones that reach out to our ever-growing fan base," Atherton said. "With OKC Motorsports we have an agreement to jointly move forward for a race in 2013.
"We have also been approached by several other parties to host new events as soon as next year, both street courses and traditional road courses. Right now, even in the midst of our 2011 season, we continue to evaluate each proposed venue and are eager to expand our schedule to fans throughout North America."
The last ALMS race in the country's central corridor was on the streets of Houston in 2007 (ABOVE). That same year the ALMS held 12 races, matching the most in a single season during its history. This year's calendar includes nine events.