Motors and Memories at Petit LeMans

Yesterday was the 14th annual Petit LeMans, the season finale for the American LeMans Series. The race, which lasts 10 hours or 1,000 miles (whichever comes first) is the biggest event Road Atlanta hosts during the year. It’s also the one that is most bittersweet for me.

I was a volunteer at the first Petit LeMans in 1998. By 1999, I was working at Road Atlanta as the Public Relations Coordinator. After I went on to become a freelance writer and PR rep, I continued to work with the American LeMans Series in various capacities. These days, though, my work lies elsewhere. I recognized only a handful of faces as we walked through the paddock yesterday, and I realized that Road Atlanta, which was once my home, is my home no longer. The day ended on a high note, though, when an old friend got me into the media center. There were familiar faces aplenty in the room, and it was great to see everyone again.

It was a perfect day for sports car racing: cool temperatures and not a cloud in the sky brought out more fans than I’ve ever seen at Road Atlanta. They got a good show, too, with 57 cars in the field. Our favorite team, Audi Sport Team Joest, had a rough day, and Peugeot went on to win the race. Road Atlanta may not be my home anymore, but race cars are still my first love.

Fans get to walk the starting grid. It was so crowded that you can't see a single one of the 57 cars on the front straight.

The Aston Martin GT entry is just plain pretty.

The "James Bond" Aston Martin finished third in the race.

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