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Onward And Upward

The Mercedes AMG center at Petit Le Mans. [Photo by Jack Webster]

The Mercedes AMG center at Petit Le Mans. [Photo by Jack Webster]

By Eddie LePine

It was off to Road Atlanta for the 20th Anniversary of Petit Le Mans in this latest installment of “Fast Eddie’s Travels”. Road Atlanta is one of my favorite tracks, and the improvements that have been made to the circuit over the years have been outstanding. This year was no different, and massive crowds showed up for the event to show their appreciation.

The latest improvement was the paving of the entire vendor area at the top of the hill, and the manufacturer displays this year were the best ever. Of particular note was the AMG Mercedes presence at the track. In addition to a Formula One quality hospitality suite overlooking Turn 3 at the top of the hill, Mercedes also had a very interesting display in the vendor area.

The AMG hospitality suite was superb and compared very favorably with similar set ups I have seen in the past from the likes of Porsche and Audi. From a great view of the track on the patio, to the racing simulators to the excellent lunch, Mercedes is to be complimented for bringing Formula One class hospitality to IMSA racing.

In the vendor area, they were demonstrating the capabilities of the G63 Mercedes SUV, taking passengers on what was a slow motion roller coaster ride that showed the climbing capabilities of their vehicle. Fans lined up all week for a ride up a very steep incline followed by a very steep downhill run. It was very impressive.

The 20th Anniversary of Petit Le Mans showcased what IMSA is capable of doing in promoting sports car racing in the US, and based on what I saw at Road Atlanta, the future looks very bright for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

IMSA is currently on a steep incline, just like the AMG demonstration track, and everything certainly seems under control. Hats off to IMSA and companies like AMG Mercedes for taking the series to the next level.

I, for one, can’t wait for the 2018 season to start.

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Eddie has been involved in motorsports for over 30 years as photographer, columnist, and driver. Eddie also is now a retired racer (well, retired unless a good ride pops up).