A Perfect Ending to IMSA’s 50th Anniversary Season at Road Atlanta’s Petit Le Mans
The first thing that struck me as I arrived at Road Atlanta just after sunset on Thursday was the massive sweeping downhill Turn 11 and the shooting star-like bursts of headlights that explode over the top of the hill and rocket down toward the start/finish line. Unlike the decidedly flat road course at Daytona, where the IMSA season begins each year, the season-finale Petit Le Mans is a hilly circuit with more ups and downs than an angry ocean ahead of a hurricane. Shaped like a pork chop, this technical 2.54 mile track provides the perfect canvas for exciting racing from start to finish.
What brought us to Road Atlanta, you ask? The good folks at BMW invited us to join them for the weekend to support their social media coverage of the Petit Le Mans. Perched atop the Turn 11 hill, BMW had a beautiful two-story chalet providing guests (and us) with an unparalleled birds-eye-view of the final turn of the track.
Though there is really no bad spot to watch the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, I found myself returning again and again to the Esses (above) – a series of descending zig-zagging turns opposite what they call Spectator Hill – the perfect vantage point for getting images of cars stacked up as they weave their way through the course. Opposite Spectator Hill is a tree-covered camping area dotted with tents overlooking Turn Five and the uphill shoot heading into turn 6 – providing the perfect vantage point for some rear shots of the IMSA cars.
Just like Daytona’s Rolex 24, the night racing at the Petit Le Mans provides a magical time to photograph the IMSA cars in action. From light trails to glowing brakes, there is no beating the excitement of racing into the twilight.
Want to see more from our coverage of the Petit Le Mans race weekend, including detail pictures of the new C8 Corvette convertible? Then be sure to check out our massive Petit Le Mans Gallery at our site – with well over 400 images for your viewing pleasure.
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