Last Wednesday I attended the first meeting of the Oversteering Committee at Manhattan Motor Cars on the west side of NYC. The committee is made up of automotive marketing and public relations executives and comprises an invitation only membership of automotive, financial, technology and lifestyle journalists, prominent automotive collectors, key influencers and social media experts with the goal of bringing to light new automotive trends. The first meeting was actually pretty impressive as Scott Atherton, ALMS President and CEO, was on hand to share his insights on why the ALMS (American Le Mans Series) is so popular. What’s interesting is that while so many other motor sport series are feeling a hit due to the poor economic climate, ALMS is moving forward thanks to an influx of new car classes, media coverage and competitors.
*Some exciting racing from last season.
When you break it down ALMS is still a “cool” series to watch as you’ve got multiple sports cars all competing side-by-side on the same tracks. In fact it hearkens back to the Trans Am racing of the late 1960’s as the cars you actually see running, are in fact the same ones you see on the streets. In the Grand Touring Class for example, cars like the BMW M3, Corvette C6.R, Ferrari F430 GT, Ford GT-R, Jaguar XKRS, Panoz Abruzzi and Porsche 911 GT3 RSR all battle head-to-head. Although highly modified, these cars still started life as production based machines. Atherton talked about how ALMS appeals to a younger audience, which is something I totally agree with and is a very important point, as that age group (18-35) is the future of the sport. He also stated that were Nascar is the Walmart of motor sports, that ALMS is the Nordstrom’s. In the end Mr. Atherton has a tough road ahead of him because let’s face it, going to the races cost money and for many that’s in short supply these days. Hopefully though ALMS will continue to grow because it is, in my opinion, one of the greatest series to watch.