The largest field for a race in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón in more than seven years is coming to Road Atlanta. The 13th annual Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA2 features 45 of the best and most innovative sports cars in the world. Only once has the Series’ cornerstone event featured more cars on its grid.
A historic grid is more than appropriate for the annual 1,000-mile/10-hour race. It serves as the final round of the 2010 Series schedule with championships in all four classes coming down to the last race. And it also marks the second round – and first in North America – for the inaugural Intercontinental Le Mans Cup. The Automobile Club de l’Ouest – sanctioning body for the Le Mans 24 Hours – announced the global championship last year.
The largest full-season field for the American Le Mans Series will be on hand, of course. The additional grid content, though, is a testament to Petit Le Mans’ status as a true world-class event. Again the top manufacturers and teams from all over the world are represented.
The storylines are abundant. For one, there is the renewal of the Audi v. Peugeot rivalry in North America. The two diesel powers are the dominant forces in prototype racing around the world although this will be their first meeting in North America this year. Peugeot won at Sebring while Audi swept the podium at Le Mans. The other significant newcomer is the Panoz Abruzzi “Spirit of Le Mans” that is under the banner of PTG Team Panoz.
But perhaps the highest-profile entry in the race is Porsche’s 911 GT3 R Hybrid, a revolutionary race car from a manufacturer that knows a thing or two about making its products go fast.
The innovative Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid features two electric motors on the front axles, each developing 60 kilowatts to supplement the 480 horsepower normally-aspirated rear-mounted engine. Under braking, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid converts kinetic energy into electrical energy and stores it in a flywheel that spins up to 40,000 rpm. During acceleration, this energy is delivered to the front wheels, supporting the combustion engine. This leads to a reduction in fuel consumption, increasing the cruising range and lessens the need for refueling pitstops.
The Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid demonstrated the potential of its groundbreaking technology over the first 22 hours and 15 minutes at this year’s Nürburgring 24 hour race and led the overall classification for more than eight hours.
Petit Le Mans also will see the debut of second-car efforts from Intersport Racing (an ORECA FLM09 for LMPC), JaguarRSR (a Jaguar XKRS) and Robertson Racing (Doran-Ford GT).
The final round of the 2010 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón is Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA 2 at Road Atlanta. The 1,000-mile/10-hour race is set for 11:15 a.m. ET on Saturday, October 2. SPEED will air the race starting at 11 a.m., with live radio coverage available on American Le Mans Radio presented by Porsche – a production of Radio Show Limited – as well as Sirius Channel 127 and XM Channel 242. Americanlemans.com will stream qualifying live starting at 3:15 p.m. ET on Friday, October 1. Visit the Series’ schedule page for ticket and accommodation information. Live Timing and Scoring, track schedule, entry list and much, much more will be available on Racehub at americanlemans.com.
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