Wednesday, August 31, 2005

 NEW YORK, NY July 8, 2004 -- The inaugural AMERICAN LE MANS SERIES "FESTIVAL OF SPEED" took place on Wednesday, June 30th at the World Financial Center Winter Garden in lower Manhattan. The event featured exotic road cars as well as race cars from the American Le Mans Series. The festival was sponsored by Ray Catena Imports, Manhattan Motorcars, Premier Financial Services and Miller Motorcars.

Festivities began Wednesday as a select group of exotic cars took positions on the upper plaza and inside the prestigious Winter Garden at the World Financial Center. The World Financial Center overlooks the Hudson River and is home to some of the world's most prominent corporations including both American Express and Merrill Lynch.

Exotic cars placed for display included the Maybach, Rolls-Royce Phantom, Bentley GT Coupe, Lamborghini Gallardo, Lamborghini Murcielago, Aston Martin DB 9, Porsche Carrera GT, Ferrari 360 Spider and other high-end exotics. Aston Martin, the car of choice for James Bond brought out two of it's most important recent achievements. The only DB 9 Coupe in existence and the very rare DB AR1 Zagato roadster of which there are only 99 in existence.

When asked about finding a place to display these amazing machines, event organizers Joe Sabatini & Dave Raber had this to say, "The settings that we choose for our exotic car displays is often one of the most important decisions we make. It has to reflect both the uniqueness and elegance of the cars themselves. One look at the Tuscan marble and soaring glass atrium of the World Financial Center Winter Garden and we knew we had found it."    

American Le Mans Series race cars on display included two cars from Intersport Racing, the team's LMP1-class Lola B160-Judd as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans LMP2 class-winning Lola B2K/40-Judd. Clint Field, LMP2 class winner at Le Mans and in the most recent ALMS race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, was also on hand at the Manhattan event. ALMS driver Leo Hindery, a New York resident who is well-known in the city as Chairman of the YES Network, was at the event with the BAM! Porsche 911 GT3 RSR that he will drive at Lime Rock. Also present was an Audi R8 from ADT Champion Racing, overall-winning team in last week's ALMS event at Mid-Ohio, and the Panoz Motor Sports Panoz Esperante GT-LM of Gunnar Jeannette and Kelly Collins.

Later that evening a reception was held at the Grill Room Restaurant. With it's panoramic sunset views, the Grill Room is a financial district favorite for both Wall Streeters and their clients. Guests enjoyed cocktails from a premium brands open bar and indulged in a wide array of culinary delights. Later in the evening, a special cake was presented to Mr. Brian Miller of Manhattan Motorcars to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Rolls-Royce Motorcars.

What:     American Le Mans Series Festival of Speed.
When:     Wednesday, June 30th
Where: World Financial Center Winter Garden, New York, NY
Contact: Joe Sabatini
Phone: 352-385-9450

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