To say today’s GT Le Mans (GTLM) qualifying session was unusual would be an understatement. The 15-minute session for Saturday’s Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda at Road Atlanta saw multiple on-track incidents, penalties and failed post-session inspections.
While Earl Bamber posted the fastest time of the qualifying session, he lost control of his No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR with a few minutes remaining, going off course in Turn 5 and bringing out the red flag to stop the session. Per IMSA rules, the red flag wiped away his fastest time of 1:30.074. Thankfully for Bamber, his second fastest time of 1:30.304 (101.258 mph) was enough to keep him on the pole. However, due to chassis damage sustained in the incident, the team went to a backup car, and the new No. 912 Porsche also co-driven by Joerg Bergmeister and Frederic Makowiecki will start at the back of the GT grid.Read More at IMSA.com
It was a good news, bad news scenario for Michael Shank Racing in Thursday’s opening preparations at Road Atlanta for Saturday’s Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda, the final round of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season.
Again demonstrating the potential of the team’s No. 60 AERO Honda/Ligier JS P2, Ozz Negri had the fastest lap of the day in the dry opening session. Competitors then faced a variety of challenges during the next two sessions, with both afternoon and night practice run during the rain. The No. 60 car spun and hit the barrier on the front straight during the night practice with John Pew at the wheel, causing damage that may jeopardize its participation in the event.
Earlier in the day, Negri toured the 12-turn, 2.54-mile road course in a time of 1:15.163 (121.656 mph) to lead Prototype (P) competitors. The Brazilian has led 18 sessions this season – including at least one at all nine permanent circuits on the schedule.Read More at IMSA.com
Road Atlanta announced today that the newly-crowned Miss America 2016, Betty Cantrell from Warner Robins, Ga., will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 18th Annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda on October 3rd.
Betty Cantrell rose to take the 2016 Miss America title after serving as Miss Georgia in 2015. The 21-year old is the first Miss Georgia to be crowned the Miss America title since 1953, and stands for a platform of healthy children, strong America.
Betty is thrilled with the opportunity to not only represent Miss America at Petit Le Mans, but to also add Grand Marshal of the event to her quickly-growing list of honors.
"I'm honored and thrilled to have been invited by Road Atlanta to serve as the Grand Marshal of the Petit Le Mans,” said Betty Cantrell, who stood out amongst the other Miss America contestants by singing opera. “I'm looking forward to coming back to Georgia and enjoying the race."