Updated: Jun 19, 2019
It’s 3:40 in the afternoon and I’m strolling down the long, fast backstretch at Road Atlanta, approximately 4 hours into the 10 hour endurance race called Petit Le Mans (little le mans). I think this must be heaven. Cars are roaring by just feet away making a symphony of different sounds. The smell of food from fans charcoal grilling trackside delicacies outside their campsites is mixing with the distinct aroma of racing engines at speed. The weather is perfect; Cloudless and maybe 70 degrees with a slight breeze from the cars whizzing past at 190mph. Yes. This is definitely heaven.
Sportscars from all over the world have gathered at Road Atlanta for the 15th running of Petit Le Mans. This 10hr/1000km car race around the hilly, tree lined, fire ant infested raceway that has become one of the premier races in all of sportscar racing and is a classic for race fans around the world. Though the well known WEC factory teams from Audi and Toyota were not in attendance this weekend, there was plenty of other machinery to gawk at. Open cockpit prototypes, closed cockpit prototypes, Ferrari, BMW, Porsche, Corvette, Viper, Lotus. There’s a little something for everyone. The Nissan Deltawing project even made an appearance.
Shortly before half past nine at night, well over nine hours after the green flag had waved to start the race, the flag marshall threw the white flag signaling one lap remaining. The #12 Rebellion racing, one of the European prototype teams which shipped over specifically for this race, led from start to finish without ever really being challenged. Despite the lack of rivalry that Audi and Peugeot brought to the race in years past, Petit Le Mans remains one of those races you have to see before you kick the bucket. This was my second year covering it, and once again…..I can’t wait to come back next year.
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