***Matt Plumb (GS) and Spencer Pumpelly (ST) led Thursday’s second practice session with the best times of the weekend to date, at 1:31.348 and 1:36.328, respectively. Thursday’s session was run under overcast skies, while Wednesday’s was in sunny, warm conditions. Plumb and Christian Szymczak led Wednesday’s session. Results are linked here (Practice 1, Practice 2).
***Matt Bell earned a record this weekend before even showing up to Road Atlanta. IMSA’s closer examination of the career qualifying records revealed past record polesitter Devon Powell did not actually earn two of the 13 career poles he was reported to have, as his co-driver qualified. With those two removed, Bell is the new all-time career leading polesitter in the series with 12 and counting.
***Bell recalled a wet session in 2009 at New Jersey Motorsports Park, then driving a Turner Motorsport BMW E46 M3, as his most memorable pole. “The clouds opened up as we all rolled out for our session, and I was on slick tires. In the end, I wound up on pole, just 0.04 seconds ahead of Duncan Ende,” Bell said.
***Fall-Line Motorsports needed to fix a bent subframe on its No. 46 BMW M3 following an incident in Tuesday’s rain-drenched promoter test, and used parts from its backup chassis (No. 48 car) to fix it for Wednesday. Defending GS class champion Trent Hindman and Ashley Freiberg seek their first win of the year this weekend.
***Fall-Line came into the weekend having captured an SCCA Runoffs National Championship in the GT-2 class at Daytona International Speedway last week. John Kachadurian scored the win in a Porsche 911 Carrera in the first race of the weekend.
***Other Continental Tire Challenge-affiliated drivers who starred in the Runoffs included HART’s pair of Kevin Boehm (STL) and John Schmitt (STU), who each won National Championships, and Freedom Autosport’s Andrew Carbonell, who finished second in the Spec Miata thriller.
***CJ Wilson Racing’s title-contending pairing of Stevan McAleer and Chad McCumbee have a doubly busy weekend this weekend, as their McCumbee McAleer Racing team also races in the Mazda MX-5 Cup season finale. It’s the first time the two teams are on site at the same weekend since Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in July.
***If McCumbee’s weekend wasn’t busy enough, he’ll head straight to Martinsville Speedway after Road Atlanta for a NASCAR Late Model Stock Car race, where his team will have two cars. He’ll be responsible for five total cars this weekend in two locations (two Late Models, two MX-5 Cup, one ST MX-5). “The worst part was getting ready to get here and do all this. Right after we hopefully get the championship trophy, we’ll go to Martinsville and go in circles,” McCumbee told Sportscar365.
***After a two-race absence, Steve Doherty returns to the No. 41 Doran Racing Nissan 370Z alongside Nic Hammann the GT Academy entry for the team. Doherty replaces Nick McMillen.
***Austin Cindric will have his second double Continental Tire Challenge/Red Bull Global Rallycross GRC Lites weekend of the year. The now-17-year-old high school student will fly to Barbados for the second-to-last GRC Lites event of the year, following the conclusion of the CTSC season on Friday.
***The LAP Motorsports squad, under the MINI John Cooper Works Team official entry name, expands to a third MINI JCW for the first time this season. Mat Pombo and Derek Jones will share the team’s No. 73 car, although a potential series debutante had been poised to drive the car if it hadn’t rained on Tuesday.
***Devin Jones, meanwhile, has been added in place of Tom Long alongside Britt Casey Jr. in Freedom Autosport’s No. 25 Mazda MX-5, another late entrant. David Levine returns to Racers Edge Motorsports and a fourth RS1 Porsche Cayman; the resulting changes bring the updated entry list to 42 cars, now split 14 in GS and 28 in ST.