ALMS Paddock Gives Thanks for Fans
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, drivers from the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón reflect on what we, as a Series, have to be most thankful for: the fans. Without the fans, there would be no ALMS. The enthusiasm of the fans makes a race weekend and makes long weeks away from home worth it for everyone involved. Lest you think we don't recognize how dedicated and knowledgeable ALMS fans are, a few personalities from the paddock would like to share their thanks…
Guy Cosmo (Driver, Extreme Speed Motorsports | @Guy Cosmo)
"What do I love about ALMS fans? Well, they're just awesome! Our ALMS fans are true followers of our sport. They're knowledgeable about the history of racing and ALMS in particular, enthusiastic and supportive of everything we do. They make the events a true joy for us to put on a great show and share our passion together. Without our fans, we're just driving around in circles!"
Chris Dyson (Driver, Dyson Racing | @ChrisDyson16)
"I love racing in the ALMS. For me, the paddock has the same vibe it's had since the heydays of the IMSA Camel GT series where I grew up watching my dad race. There's a tangible buzz wherever we've gone for the past 10 years I've been racing here. We go to incredible venues, and the fans are wonderful. People just love these machines, and the technology that's on display here just gets everyone jazzed.
"There's always plenty to talk about, and our paddock is always really fan-friendly. You really feel like you're part of a happening, and because we have continuity in the schedule you actually get to know fans and the corner workers at some of the tracks and form some great relationships.
"At the end of the day, we're so fortunate to perform in front of such great and appreciative crowds. I guess you could say it must be how musicians feel like when they get to play amazing venues in front of fans who are completely tuned into the music. We are everything we are because of the people who love this sport and devote their time and passion to it. And I'm so thankful for it. I've really come to feed off the crowds, and I must say it has been nothing but positive energy out there in our paddock."
Duncan Ende (Driver, Dempsey Racing | @DuncanEnde)
"I'm reminded at each ALMS race that we have the best fans in the world. They are incredibly friendly and so enthusiastic about the series, but not only that, they have a huge amount of knowledge about the teams and racing. No matter if we are in Sebring, where we have fans that have been going for decades, or Baltimore, where the fans have just learned about sports car racing, the fans are the best part of racing in the ALMS."
Damien Faulkner (Driver, Green Hornet Racing | @DamienFaulkner)
"There are many things I like about the ALMS fans, too many to mention. What immediately springs to mind though is their warmth when we (the drivers) get to meet them in the paddock. Their sense of knowledge too is impressive. But, I suppose the one of the most extraordinary things is the way they show their support on an individual level - it leaves me feeling that the whole crowd is supporting Damien Faulkner!"
Oliver Gavin (Driver, Corvette Racing | @OliverGavin)
"The fans in the ALMS are amongst the most loyal and knowledgeable people I've ever met in my career, and fans make or break the atmosphere at a race which is why they are so crucial to the series. I think the access they get to the teams with the open paddocks and the relative stability of the calendar has had a lot to do with that, as fans know where and when they are going to see their favorites each year. It's also great to see so many whole families coming to the races, from oldest to youngest.
And, as for the Corvette fans... well, it's no secret that we have the longest lines in the autograph session, the biggest corrals at the tracks and a massively passionate and devoted army of followers. They are a huge part of Corvette Racing."
Kyle Marcelli (Driver, Merchant Services Racing | @KyleMarcelli)
"The ALMS fans are among the most loyal in auto racing; many cheer for their favorite manufacturer and others for their favorite driver. I met a husband and wife in the northeast during the Lime Rock round, then bumped into the same couple in the south during the Petit Le Mans event. You begin to develop real relationships, not just 'hi and thanks for coming out,' but 'how's the new car, how's the kids etc.'
"Canadian ALMS fans however... we have to be thankful for them as well. Again, there's a husband and wife (Corvette fans) that stop by to say hello three or four times per year at different ALMS races across the country ? some rack up quite the air miles to travel to their favorite venues!"
Bryce Miller (Driver, Paul Miller Racing | @BryceRacer)
"Many ALMS fans long to have some of the production cars we are racing if they don't already have one. They are very technically knowledgeable and brand loyal which sets the stage for lots of fun interactions between the drivers, teams and their fans. Of course, our team's fans are the best!"