In support of High Museum’s Allure of the Automobile


The American Le Mans Series, considered the world’s premier sports car championship, will play host to a “Family Showcase Weekend” at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art on April 23-25 in support of the museum’s “The Allure of the Automobile” exhibition.

Three historic race cars along with Series champion driver Patrick Long will be part of the weekend aimed to provide family entertainment on the Sifly Piazza between the museum and the Woodruff Arts Center. The featured race cars includes the Porsche RS Spyder prototype that won the American Le Mans Series’ LMP2 championship from 2006-2008 for Penske Racing. Now retired, the car is stored at Roger Penske’s facility in Auburn Hills, Mich. Porsche built just 11 RS Spyders to race and only seven raced in the United States, all in the American Le Mans Series. From 2006-2008, the Penske Racing machines took on the more formidable diesel-powered Audi R10 TDIs from the more powerful LMP1 class and defeated it 10 times outright, a remarkable feat since in the prior history of the American Le Mans Series, an LMP2 car had defeated an LMP1 only once.


The other race cars on the High’s piazza include a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB and a 1959 Lister Jaguar. Both cars will participate at Road Atlanta on April 30-May 2 at “The Mitty”, a weekend of racing by the Historic Sportscar Racing Association that showcases race cars from decades past.

Long, America’s only factory Porsche driver, has twice won the American Le Mans Series’ GT2 championship, including last year for Sonoma-based Flying Lizard Motorsports in a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. In addition to a pair of Series championships, Long has won all the world’s top endurance races – the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans.

plong_041310_1On Saturday (April 24), kids can be photographed with the cars, design their own race car and submit that design for a chance to win tickets for the family to Petit Le Mans, Oct. 2 at Road Atlanta. In addition, Long will provide periodic informal “chats” on the plaza explaining not only the heritage of Porsche’s race and street cars – including several seen in “The Allure of the Automobile” exhibition – but also the relevancy of racing to customer cars, an attribute for which the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón is renowned.  The Series is recognized as one of the most technically advanced race series in the world where leading auto manufacturers design and develop innovative technologies on the track that transfer directly to the consumer showroom.

Much of that development recently has focused on alternative fuels and powertrains. All cars in the Series compete using one of five types of alternative energy sources – clean diesel, cellulosic E85, E10, isobutanol or gas-electric hybrid. Recognized as the Global Leader in Green Racing, the American Le Mans Series was saluted in 2008 by the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and SAE International as the only race series that meets its criteria for “green racing”. Two awards were created via this recognition – The Green Challenge™ award and MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge award – citing a pair of teams each race that achieve superior scoring in environmental impact (emission controls), fuel efficiency (petroleum displacement) and overall performance.

Long will also attend an exclusive “Green Flag” VIP reception the evening of April 23 at The High Museum’s Table 1280.

The Allure of the Automobile – on view at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, through June 20, 2010 – presents 18 of the world’s rarest and most brilliantly conceived cars ranging from the 1930s to the mid-1960s, including masterpieces by Bugatti, Duesenberg, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Ferrari. These cars combine state-of-the-art engineering, meticulous craftsmanship and groundbreaking design to create works of “rolling sculpture.” The 18 automobiles include one-of-a-kind, custom-built designs that incorporate remarkable advances in automotive styling and engineering. The exhibition traces the evolution of the motorcar, examining the contrasts between European and American design, the influence of decorative arts and design and the significant changes in automotive styling and engineering both before and after World War II. The featured automobiles have also won awards at prestigious world events such as the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, broken records on racetracks and were previously owned by noted car enthusiasts such as Hollywood legends Clark Gable and Steve McQueen. For more information about the exhibition, visit


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