Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth, Clap along if you know what happiness is to you. Because I’m happy…
In the spirit of consistency, my Rolex 24 review is HERE! Feel free to review it for what I thought then… and what I think 10 months later.
The weather was a cool version of spectacular and, much to the credit of tradition, the fans were out in record numbers. Whether they understood what they were watching… or even cared for that matter, remains an unanswered question. Personally, I look at the grid and even I’m confused. In fact, I’m not sure I could explain it in a way a new comer would understand.
The race, now changed to run a full 10 hours, logged a record 13 cautions. Yeah… I know.
Ricky and Jordan Taylor and Max Angelelli (No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Konica Minolta Corvette DP) won the Petit Le Mans - the 10-hour TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season finale at Road Atlanta - holding off the No. 5 Action Express Racing Corvette DP by 11.062 seconds. The trio completed 400 laps – 1,016 miles – as the brothers became the first American-born drivers to win the event overall. “It’s a great way to end the year,” Jordan Taylor said. “We’ve won the last race the last three seasons, and it’s a great trend we hope to continue. My dad won the first Petit Le Mans, so we’ve always heard about this race. He always talks highly about it, putting it up with Le Mans, Daytona and Sebring, We’ve had the car to beat the last two races, so we’re definitely looking forward to next season.”
The Action Express team also clinched the TUDOR Championship team title with the waving of the green flag, and less than two hours later Christian Fittipaldi and Joao Barbosa had driven the required distance to secure the drivers’ crown. (Sebastien Bourdais completed the driver line-up at Road Atlanta.) At the eight-hour mark, the team wrapped up the $100,000 Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup team championship by leading the second segment in the competition rewarding competitors for high finishes in the four endurance races in the TUDOR Championship: the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida and Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen. “This team was unbelievable since the end of last season,” Barbosa said. “We worked all winter for the big challenge of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. It was a big task for a small team, but we had a great year. We were the only team to compete every lap in all of the races. We had eight podiums in 11 races, three great victories, and the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship and Patrón Endurance Cup – what a great year for Action Express.”
Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas and Scott Dixon (No. 01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates Telcel Ford EcoBoost/Riley) finished third overall, one lap down.
Bryan Sellers, Wolf Henzler and Marco Holzer (No. 17 Team Falken Tire Porsche 911 RSR) won the GTLM class at Petit Le Mans. “Before the restart (near the end of the race), I asked and they said there were a couple of prototypes between us [and second place], so I thought maybe I’d be safe,” said Henzler, who beat Michael Christensen to the stripe by a mere 0.937 seconds. “I had three laps and I was able to keep my pace and keep him behind. He never could really attack me, but he was close.”
Michael Christensen, Patrick Long and Earl Bamber (No. 912 Porsche North America Porsche 911 RSR) finished second in GTLM to win the Tequila Patrón North American Endurance Cup team championship, while Christensen and Long won the Patrón Endurance Cup driver championship. Porsche won the manufacturer championship in the four-race endurance competition, which also included the races at Daytona, Sebring and Watkins Glen.