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Race fans gear up for Petit Le Mans race

16th annual Road Atlanta competition takes to track in Braselton

POSTED: October 17, 2013 1:00 a.m.

Some of the best sports car teams in North America and Europe will be part of the Petit Le Mans endurance race Saturday at Road Atlanta in Braselton. The 16th annual running of one of the American Le Mans Series’ biggest events meshes endurance and speed as drivers participate in the 1,000 mile/10-hour race in the P1, P2 and GT classifications at the track in South Hall.

This will be the series’ final race before it merges with another premier racing series.

The series begins its final visit to the twists and turns of Road Atlanta today, when competitors begin two days of practice and qualifying Sessions lead up to the dropping of the green flag of the 16th Annual Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

The race will feature many of the best road-course drivers from North America and Europe.

The annual event at Road Atlanta, a 2.54-mile road circuit track with 12 turns, is the American Le Mans Series’ biggest event, and features five classes of racing. Classifications include P1, P2, GT, Prototype Challenge and GT Challenge, all of which produce different champions, leading to position and points battles among each classification throughout the length of the race.

Three of the five classifications have undetermined champions and there is a tie for first place in the Prototype Challenge class.

One race team many fans will have an eye on this weekend will be the team of famous actor and racer Patrick Dempsey, most commonly known for his role on the hit show “Grey’s Anatomy.”

Fans looking to catch of glimpse of Dempsey and the rest of the drivers can get and up-close and personal look at the autograph session between noon and 12:45 p.m. Friday or by walking up to the driver’s respective trailer throughout the weekend.

Dempsey and fellow drivers will also be on the track prior to the race Saturday when pit road is open to spectators.

Three other races are: The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama, Cooper Tires Protoype Lites powered by Mazda and the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup.

A full schedule of the weekend’s events can be found by visiting www.alms.com.


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