Both the ALMS and LMS, while benefiting from a common source for rules and guidelines, have put their own unique stamp on their events. The LMS has a broader entry for the GT1 category, where the Ford-powered Saleen is competitive against Corvette, Aston Martin and even Lamborghini. The emphasis in the GT classes is on private teams, whereas the ALMS has more direct factory affiliation with a select amount of teams. Both series are making an effort to go green with bio-fuels and grab a share of the headlines, showcasing new technology while giving off the vibe of being responsible. At the conclusion of Petit Le Mans, a press conference was held that featured heads of the U.S. EPA and Department of Energy. Racing has seldom made such inroads with bureaucrats. Technical developments are indeed necessary to keep both series relevant in the face of budget cutbacks and limited hard media outlets. In these days of Tivo, making the case for tape-delayed races when the final results have been known for days, let alone minutes and hours, is difficult for the average fan to understand. A set of consistent regulations are the lifeblood for any race series and the ACO has done a decent balancing act that has given enough leeway for the ALMS to present Euro-centric racing with an American face. In a strange way, it's almost a throwback to the old Cal Club racing of the 1950s where American specials mixed it up with Ferraris imported by Chinetti or John Von Neuman. From the roots of hot rod shops came the might of the Reventlow Scarabs. Just another round of the circle game.

This month we take a graphic look back at some of the highlights of the 2008 LMS and ALMS seasons with images from longtime ec contributors from the scene, John Brooks and David Lister.

For a full photo gallery, go to

Grid Fillers
Random happenings in the world of motorsport

Formula One: Despite bad decisions issued by FIA stewards and blown calls by the McLaren team (even by the newly crowned World Champion hisself), Lewis Hamilton is numero uno, having beaten the Ferrari of Felipe Massa at the final race of the season by getting back to fifth place and claiming enough points. It even took the final corner to play out. Massa was champion for, oh, about 30 seconds. There's a saying that the award you get is for your previous work that went unrewarded. Hamilton had a better run in 2007 and lost; this was the payback although Massa had the better '08. I always hated the clich: to win a championship, one must lose one first. At least the stewards didn't have a say in the outcome. F1 is becoming a shadow of the greatness once displayed. The GP of Canada is off the schedule, and even in the "we invented motorsport" capital of the world, the British GP is in danger of going away. Money, greed, hype... get ready for more races in the desert. Aqaba is over there, it's just a matter of going.

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