Wild Day At Petit Le Mans

Overall and GTLM Class winning Porsche 911 RSR. [Photo by Jack Webster]

Overall and GTLM Class winning Porsche 911 RSR. [Photo by Jack Webster]

By Jack Webster & Eddie LePine

It never stopped raining at Road Atlanta. As a matter of fact, the only session for the IMSA TUDOR Championship run in the dry was the one on Thursday morning. After that, every time the cars took to the track, it was raining.

However, the hearty souls who braved the elements saw a fantastic race, even though the scheduled 10 hour event was reduced to just under 8 hours due to track conditions that were just getting too dangerous to continue.

There were a total of 10 yellow flag caution periods and the yellow time actually exceeded the green racing time by a few minutes. In addition, when a strong band of rain came through the race was actually stopped for just over an hour.

The overall winner? The GTLM Porsche 911 RSR of Tandy, Pilet and Lietz won overall and another GTLM entry, the BMW M3 of Edwards, Luhr and Klingmann finished second overall. The top finishing Prototype was the Action Express Corvette DP of Barbosa, Fittipaldi and Bourdais. The winning Porsche and 2nd place BMW were both on Michelin tires while the Corvette DP was on the series spec Continental. Perhaps the Michelin rain tires were a bit superior in the terrible conditions at Road Atlanta. Regardless of tires, the winning Porsche 911 RSR put on a stunning performance, staying out of trouble and taking a well deserved class and overall victory.

In LMPC PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports drivers Guasch, Kimber-Smith and Palmer survived to take the class victory. In GTD it was the Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America of Lindsey, Pumpelly and Snow taking top honors.

We are sure all of the drivers were relieved at the decision by race officials to call a halt to the proceedings as darkness set in, as poor visibility and water pooling on the track surface was just getting worse as time wore on.

Now that the race is over, everyone can finally dry out.

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