Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda rolling updates

DeltaWing and No. 5 Action Express cars. Photo: IMSA
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BRASELTON, Ga. – Good morning from a wet, soggy, and treacherous Road Atlanta, where today’s 10-hour Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda is due to take place.

We’ll update this post as we go, but suffice to say the story of the day is one word: rain.

Already we’ve had issues in this morning’s 20-minute warmup session. Following a heroic repair effort where Elan Motorsports assisted to fix the damaged No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ligier JS P2 Honda, Shank’s team is in a race against time to make the grid again after Ozz Negri had an off in the morning warmup, with right front and rear damage and suspension issues. Negri did limp the car back to the pit lane.

Alex Popow also had a spin in the No. 88 Starworks Motorsport Oreca FLM09 but was able to return to the pits.

The race is past the two-hour mark, with four full-course cautions having occurred.

Perhaps the scariest moments have involved cars going off course and then reversing back onto track, which has happened on several occasions.

The No. 90 VisitFlorida.com Racing Corvette DP, which was leading, has had an off with Michael Valiante driving.

Both Corvette C7.Rs have also had issues during the race.

Michael Shank Racing’s nightmare weekend is over, the team has confirmed, following an accident for John Pew once again this weekend.

Heavier rain has put the race under a red flag in the sixth hour.

Speaking to IMSA Radio, IMSA Race Director Beaux Barfield had this to say:

“We felt it appropriate to take a pause and let this cell get past us, which I’m confident it will, once we get the track regained, we are prepared to wait it out and restart this race.

“I brought my channel digging shoes today. I’ve worked here long enough, back in my pre-officiating days, I know where the water goes on this track. This gives us our strategy for what we need to focus on before we can go back racing.”

More to follow…