TUDOR United SportsCar Championship - round 11 - 1st to 4th October
While Andy Priaulx will be sad that his first season in America in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship will be over after this coming weekend’s Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta, he is very excited about the race in which he will be driving the BMW Z4 GTLM with his regular team-mate Bill Auberlen as well as Joey Hand, who was last with them in round two of the series in Sebring. The BMW Team RLL driver knows this ten hour race can throw up all sorts of challenges and opportunities, so is very positive about what is possible and has not written off the chance of a title.
Going into this weekend Andy and Bill are fourth in the GTLM driver standings with 276 points, the leaders have 300, and there are 36 points on offer - 35 for a win and one for starting the event. "I am very much looking forward to Petit Le Mans and, as we still have a chance to win the championship, I am going to go there feeling positive. I will simply just concentrate on finishing the season on a high note and keeping hopeful for some good fortune at the same time. It’s a long race and a lot can happen, so I am staying completely opened minded,” he said.
Road Atlanta is not a completely new track for Andy, but he has raced on many new ones in America over the 11 round series that started in Daytona in January. “I have had the most amazing year and for that I have to say a big thank you to BMW Team RLL and my team-mate Bill. They have taken me under their wing as the ’new boy’ and given me the perfect racing environment. We have had some tough times, but the last races have gone very well for me personally and I would love to close of the season with a good result as a thank you to them and BMW Motorsport,” was his comment
As usual Andy, Bill and Joey will be in the black number 55 car, while John Edwards and Dirk Muller will be joined in the white number 56 car by Dirk Werner, who was also with the team in Sebring.
The cars are out on track on Thursday, 2nd October for three free practice sessions – from 10.10 to 11.10, from 14.10 to 15.10 and from 19.30 to 21.00. On Friday there is a fourth free practice from 10.10 to 11.10 and then qualifying for GTLM cars from 16.40 to 16.55. On Saturday the warm-up from 09.00 to 09.25 will be followed by the ten hour race from 11.15 to 21.15. All these times are local and five hours behind BST.
Road Atlanta is about an hour’s drive from Atlanta, and is situated in 750 park-like acres in the rolling hills of Northeast Georgia. It is 4.088 kilometres (2.54 miles) long and has 12 turns. Construction of the track began in 1969 and the first race on the 13th September 1970 had Vic Elford on pole, Denis Hulme and Peter Revson on the entry list and Stirling Moss was the Grand Marshall.