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Road Atlanta Post-Race Notebook

John Dagys’ post-race notebook from Petit Le Mans…

Photo: Rick Dole/Michelin

Photo: Rick Dole/Michelin

***Saturday’s rain-shortened Petit Le Mans marked a historic occasion for Porsche, which claimed its first overall win in the ten-hour enduro, and the first outright victory for a GT-class car a full, four-class TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race.

***It was the first major overall endurance triumph for a GTE(2) car since the 2003 Spa 24 Hours, when Freisinger Motorsport’s Porsche 996 GT3-RS beat the more powerful GT1 cars in another rain-soaked race. TRG also took a Porsche to overall victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona that year.

***Remarkably, all three Porsche 911 RSRs started from the rear of the field after hitting trouble in qualifying. The CORE autosport-run factory squad worked until 3:30 a.m. Saturday replacing the chassis of its No. 912 Porsche following a crash in qualifying for pole-sitter Earl Bamber.

***It was the second rain-shortened in Petit Le Mans history, after the 2009 race was abandoned after four hours, also due to rain. This year’s event ran to 7 hours and 51 minutes, which included a 1 hour and 5-minute red flag period. A total of 3 hours and 19 minutes were run under green, with 3 hours and 26 minutes under full-course caution.

***While Richard Lietz was listed to drive with Nick Tandy and newly crowned GTLM drivers’ champion Patrick Pilet, the Austrian never logged any laps in the race. Tandy, who won the 24 Hours of Le Mans outright this year as well, combined with Pilet to win four of the final five TUDOR Championship races in class.

***Porsche swept the Driver, Team and Manufacturer championships in GTLM, while Chevrolet earned its second consecutive Prototype Engine Manufacturer title. Ferrari won the GTD Manufacturers Championship, marking the Italian automaker’s third title won in four seasons of North American endurance racing.

***The 1-2 finish for GT Le Mans cars also marked Michelin’s first overall win in a major TUDOR Championship race. The French tire manufacturer debuted 2015 WEC-spec wet weather tires for its technical partner teams this weekend.

***Team Falken Tire had a challenging final race, with the No. 17 Porsche of Bryan Sellers, Wolf Henzler and Patrick Long finishing 11th overall and 7th in the GTLM class. The team, which worked through the night to repair the car following an accident in qualifying, faced a number of incidents in the race as well.

***The Prototype championship-winning No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP ended the season completing all but one lap in competition. The team’s 19-race streak of finishing on the lead lap ended at Circuit of The Americas, with Joao Barbosa, Christian Fittipaldi and Sebastien Bourdais finishing third overall on Saturday.

***In addition to Action Express, PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports (PC), Corvette Racing (GTLM) and Riley Motorsports (GTD) picked up Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup honors.

***Prototype Challenge champions CORE autosport had a challenging race, with Jon Bennett, Colin Braun and Anthony Lazzaro-driven entry finishing 20 laps behind the class-winning PR1 car after a crash by Lazzaro just after the red flag. It returned to action and was only one of four PC cars that were running at the finish.

***CORE, meanwhile, wrapped up its fifth consecutive Teams’ Championship. Remarkably, its two chassis, Nos. 12 and 20, have remained undefeated in the PC championship, dating back to the inaugural season in 2010 when the chassis were owned by Level 5 Motorsports, which took the first title.

***Newly crowned GTD champions Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler will not return to Scuderia Corsa in 2016, but will be back for their fifth consecutive season as co-drivers in a to-be-announced GTD effort.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John


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