Things to Watch at Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda
Race’s 15th running has no shortage of attractions, storylines
BRASELTON, Ga – March seems like a long time ago. Yet here we are a little more than six months after the start of the 2012 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón season at Sebring. A month from now the season wraps up with the 15th running of Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda.
Road Atlanta’s signature event served as the launching pad for the ALMS with the first event in 1998. The race is 1,000 miles or 10 hours (whichever comes first) of grueling racing up, down and around the foothills of northern Georgia. With the exception of the monsoon-plagued 2009 race, each Petit Le Mans has gone the distance with run times ranging from eight hours, 56 minutes (1999) to nine hours, 48 minutes (1998). Last year’s running time was nine hours, 34 minutes as Peugeot won at Road Atlanta for the third consecutive year.
• We learned earlier this week that Nissan DeltaWing will make its return to racing at Petit Le Mans. The revolutionary concept prototype – featuring a design that cuts weight, fuel consumption and tire weight by half – races for the first time in North America after its worldwide debut in June at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
• The ALMS’ P1 and P2 championships for drivers and teams are on the line. Both Muscle Milk Pickett Racing (P1) and Level 5 Motorsports (P2) need only to complete 70 percent of the distance of their respective class winners to claim season titles. Should they falter, Dyson Racing (P1) and Conquest Endurance (P2) can claim the championships if they reach the 70 percent mark.
• Rebellion Racing joins the P1 field at Petit Le Mans with its Lola-Toyota coupe. The Swiss team secured fifth place overall in the 2011 race. Rebellion employs the same lineup as 2011 at Road Atlanta: Neel Jani, Nicolas Prost and Andrea Belicchi.
• A number of European Le Mans Series (ELMS) teams join the Petit Le Mans field with P2 and GTE Am entries racing at the same time for their respective ELMS championships. The more familiar entries to sports car fans include Greaves Motorsport, Oak Racing and AF Corse.
The 1,000-mile/10-hour Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, Oct 20 from Road Atlanta. ABC’s broadcast begins at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 21. Full, live coverage starts at 11:15 a.m. ET on ESPN3.
The Series’ website offers additional content such as live in-car cameras, and timing and scoring for all users around the world. Viewers outside the U.S. can watch Petit Le Mans and all ALMS races live on ALMS.com.
Visit ALMS.com for current and future event information including tickets and area accommodations. Follow the Series on Twitter (#ALMS, #PLM12), Facebook and YouTube.