Petit Le Mans: Countdown to the IMSA finale at Road Atlanta
Curved route with the famous "Esses"
Raceway Road Atlanta is considered a demanding track. On the 4.088 kilometres / 2.54 miles, the drivers have to master twelve curves, including the famous "Esses", extremely fast passages with numerous changes of direction - uphill, downhill. This is a challenge for the teams, who have to put an extreme amount of concentration and precision at the wheel for the track. In addition, there are rapidly changing weather conditions that demand a high level of driving performance from the pilots. Especially now in autumn, they have to expect and cope with cloudbursts and thunderstorms on the Road Atlanta. Incidentally, the trio of Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Richard Lietz sensationally overcame these weather conditions in 2015 and scored Porsche's greatest success at Road Atlanta to date.
Petit Le Mans" is also something special for Porsche in historical terms. The Stuttgart-based sports car manufacturer has already taken home 24 class victories in Atlanta, the headquarters of Porsche Cars North America.
The endurance race, which is steeped in tradition in American racing history, is a tribute to its big brother in France, the 24-hour Le Mans race. After the Francophile sports car enthusiast Don Panoz had his Esperante GTR-1 start at Le Mans for the first time in 1997, he founded the American Le Mans Series in 1998. His goal was to establish endurance races in the USA along European lines. That was the birth of "Petit Le Mans", a race that is unparalleled in terms of track layout, excitement and driving expertise - and will lead to plenty of goosebump moments and a lot of adrenaline for the drivers and motorsport fans on 14 October.
Porsche wants to bring the title home
For Porsche and the works drivers of Porsche Penske Motorsport, it's all about the big picture: Porsche currently leads the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship in the manufacturers' standings. Porsche is third and fifth in the drivers' and team championships.
In addition to the works teams, the customer teams will also be competing in the top GTP class: JDC-Miller MotorSports and Proton Competition will be starting with a Porsche 963. In the GTD-Pro category, Pfaff Motorsports will start with a Porsche 911 GT3 R.
The alarm clocks are set and fingers are crossed. It all starts with free practice on 12 October and qualifying on 13 October. On 14 October, the drivers will then drive their cars to their starting positions: at 11:40 a.m. (CEST), the flag will drop for the grand finale. The countdown is on.