BRASELTON, GA – It was a remarkable end to the 2015 Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta this weekend. The rain soaked conditions made it very difficult for the blisteringly fast Prototype racers allowing the GTLM-class Porsche 911RSR of Tandy/Pilet/Lietz to the overall win. This is the first time in the history of this race that a GT-car won the overall race. The venerable 911, with its rear engine configuration and amazing reliability once again proved itself to be a daunting competitor. Who would have thought that a car layout conceived in 1964 could still be a motorsports contender in 2015?
Scott Pruett, driver of the #01 Ganassi Racing Ford-Riley DP-car, summed it up best, “We weren’t racing, we were just trying to survive.” Second place went to another GTLM-class car, the BMW Z4 of Edwards/Luhr/Klingman. The podium was completed by Action Express Corvette DP of Barbosa/Fittipaldi/Bourdais, the highest placing DP-car of the race, and giving Borbosa and Fittipaldi once again, the season championship. Pruett’s Riley came in fourth.
It was a particularly harsh race for the open-cockpit Protoype Challenge cars. The highest placing PC-car was the 52 Oreca FLM09 piloted by Gausch/Kimber-Smith/Palmer with Katech power, coming in 14th overall. Said Kimber-Smith about his stint in the open-cockpit car: “I don’t think I’ve ever been that wet in my life, even in the shower.” The 52 Oreca also captured the PC championship.
GT-Daytona looked like it might see the first woman champion with 007 TRG Aston-Martin driver Christina Nielsen having a 1-point lead coming into Atlanta. However, the win went to the 73 Porsche 911 GT-America of Lindsey/Pumpelly/Snow with Christina a distant 9th. The GT-D championship went to Bill Sweedler/Bell/Segal in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia