Cars take the turn with caution on a rain-slicked course during Saturday’s Petit Le Mans on Saturday in Braselton. See more scenes in Doug Chellew’s photo gallery below.
BY COLIN OCHS
BRASELTON — Nick Tandy and Patrick Pilet overcame the field and a long afternoon in pouring rain to drive their Porsche 911 to a victory Saturday in the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.
It was the first time a GT (Gran Turismo) car won the endurance race, which was called just shy of eight hours following two rain delays. The race was scheduled to last 10 hours.
The win also clinched the GT Le Mans Class Championship for Pilet.
“Rain is always the great equalizer,” Prototype driver Scott Pruett said. “So it was interesting to see a GTLM car get the win.”
GTLM cars finished 1-2, as the BMW Z4 GTE team of John Edwards, Lucas Luhr and Jens Klingmann finished second overall.
Continue reading Pilet, Tandy roll to Petit LeMans victory in the rain
Don Panoz, chairman of DeltaWing Technology Group and long recognized in motorsports as the founder of the Panoz Motor Sport Group, the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) and the Women’s Global GT Series, has been named the 2015 recipient of the Women in the Winner’s Circle Leadership Award, presented by motorsports pioneer Lyn St. James and the Women’s Sports Foundation.
Panoz is recognized for his many contributions and support of women in automotive and motorsports. St. James created the Women in the Winner’s Circle Leadership Award in honor of Paul Newman, a legend in entertainment, racing and philanthropy. In 2008 his Newman’s Own Foundation provided the initial funding that enabled St. James, former president of the Women’s Sports Foundation, to establish the Project Podium Scholarship for women in racing.
In 1999 Panoz founded the Women’s Global GT Series, a road racing series open to professional female drivers piloting identically prepared 400-horsepower Panoz Esperante GT race cars. Far from a powder-puff derby, the Women’s Global GT Series featured professional racers from around the world. The series merged with the Panoz GT Series, perhaps a victim of simply being ahead of its time.
Continue reading Don Panoz gets leadership award from the Women’s Sports Foundation
Denmark’s Christina Nielsen competes during a race this season. Driving in the GT Daytona classification, Nielsen has a chance to become the first woman to win a major North American Motorsports championship.
BY DAVID THACKHAM
Capping off one of her most successful seasons as a driver, Christina Nielsen will hope a strong finish in Saturday’s Petit Le Mans can clinch a GT Daytona class championship.
Such a result would be more than exciting — it would be historic.
Nielsen has the potential to become the first woman to win a major North American motorsports championship, according to Kelsi Nilsson, manager of public relations and marketing at Road Atlanta.
“It’s huge for our sport,” said Nilsson. “There’s a lot riding on this.”
That’s because the Petit Le Mans represents the finale for the TUDOR United Sportscar Championship, which covers four classes of racing, including Prototype, Prototype Challenge, GT Le Mans and GT Daytona.
All four classes will race at the same time during the 10-hour, 1,000-mile race at Road Atlanta in Braselton, which promises to bring racing fans from all over the country — and world — into South Hall.
Continue reading Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta: Christina Nielsen could make racing history for women
The Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda (French for little Le Mans) is a sports car endurance race held annually at Road Atlanta in Braselton.
Set for Sept. 30 through Oct. 3, it uses the rules established for the 24 hours of Le Mans by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), which are slightly modified if necessary, mainly to allow additional cars to compete.
The race was founded by Road Atlanta owner Don Panoz and first run on Oct. 10, 1998, as part of the IMSA season. The 1999 edition was one of the original events of the American Le Mans Series.
Continue reading Embrace the Race: Petit Le Mans is Sept. 30 – Oct. 3 at Road Atlanta
The next Jackson County Comprehensive High School Athletic Hall of Fame class will be inducted May 14, 2016, and nominations are now being sought.
Last year’s induction included the 1951 Braselton High School boys’ state champion basketball team, longtime supporter Arlen Berryman, coach and administrator D.L. Hitchcock, administrator James Brown, record-holding athlete Cheryl Martin, who has been added as hall of fame committee member, supporter Florine Griffeth and athletes Odell Collins, Jason Powers and Nikki Sosebee.
Plans calls for the 2016 induction ceremony to include a silent auction and reverse raffle, along with the presentation of the Athletic Director Awards for the school’s current athletes.
Nominations are required for an athlete to be considered for hall of fame honors.
Continue reading JCCHS Athletic Hall of Fame nominations being sought