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The IMSA Petit Le Mans race weekend was a total success by A. Graas

The IMSA Petit Le Mans race weekend was a total success by A. Graas

14.10.2019: I have never seen so many fans at the track. The racing was superb. The new Michelin tower is a marvel. IMSA and Road Atlanta's organization was spot on. Even the weather was fantastic.


I have never seen so many fans at the track. The racing was superb. The new Michelin tower is a marvel. IMSA and Road Atlanta's organization was spot on. Even the weather was fantastic.



In three of the four categories the racing was extremely close. After 10 hours of racing the winners' margins were anywhere from less than a second to a few seconds! This shows that IMSA has done a formidable BoP job in all the different categories.


Hats off to IMSA! Only the LMP2 class was a big disappointment - with only two entries that both failed to finish. This race set a new lap record of 465 laps. It was a sprint race from 12:05 till 22:05!



In DPi Cadillac won, in GTLM it was Ferrari and BMW took the GTD victory. The 2 hour Friday Michelin Challenge support race saw Aston-Martin win the GS class whereas Hyundai won in TCR.


I was very happy to see Bryan Herta Hyundai team win the championship. During his press conference he revealed that next year he might enter 3-4 Velosters TCR, plus support customer teams using Hyundai cars.




He also mentioned that he plans on entering 2/3 drivers from his team in next year's 24h of Nurburgring through Target Competition (Hyundai Europe's works TCR team from Italy). Additionally the news from Bryan was that Mazda will joint the championship next year. Some additional manufacturers are also looking into TCR racing.



The rumor from insiders was that Genesis might do a program with their G70 car in GTD class!? That would make sense from a marketing point of view since Lexus, a direct competitor, is racing in that class. I suppose Bryan's team would handle this program because of his great Hyundai relations.




I met with my two good friends Casey Carden (team owner and pro driver) and Jason Workman (pro driver) and asked what their plan is for next year?



Casey Carden Motorsports is running a very successful WRL program this year. CCM was WRL National Endurance Champions with their main driver Jason. It looks like they will both repeat this feat this year! Casey got several plans in the books for next year. It is too early to give out details as all depends on what the sponsors want to pay money for...



The universal issue in Motorsport is funding. Keeping the cost down should be the number one priority of any series organizers. However, the current cost explosion is phenomenal!



For instance a GTD program will cost you anywhere from $ 2.5 to 4.5 millions! For most sponsors the question always is: is it worth? Looking at the media and fan success of IMSA I world say yes. Convincing the sponsors is another thing!





- Alex Graas - also photos



Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/imsa-petit-le-mans-total-success-alex-graas---199106.html

14.10.2019 / MaP

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