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Track to be named Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in 2019

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Beginning in 2019, Road Atlanta will officially become Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta as the tire company becomes the first entitlement partner of the track.

The entitlement sponsorship builds on a current agreement that has made Michelin the official tire partner of the track.

“Michelin has been racing for more than 125 years as a way to improve tire performance, discover new technologies and bring the highest quality tires to our vehicle manufacturer partners and consumers,” said Scott Clark, chairman and president of Michelin North America in a press release on the IMSA web site. “This is the first time globally that Michelin will have naming rights with a race circuit. Road Atlanta, as an iconic race track with a rich history and a natural link to the Michelin heritage of global endurance racing, provides us with a tremendous opportunity to engage with our partners and consumers.”

As part of their enhanced presence at the track, Michelin will also sponsor a four-story control tower and media center that will be known as the Michelin Tower.

The building will house an event space on the main floor, broadcast booths as part of the second-floor media center, hospitality suites on the third and fourth floors and race control on the fourth floor. A rooftop viewing center will be added.

Demolition of the current control tower will begin immediately following this week’s Motul Petit Le Mans.

“Michelin’s legacy at Road Atlanta runs deep, and these moves will, without question, drive that legacy even further,” said Geoff Lee, president and general manager at Road Atlanta. “Michelin and Road Atlanta’s histories intersect at so many points that it would be impossible to separate them, and this partnership will solidify that bond.”

In 2019, the Weathertech Sports Car Championship will be broadcast on the NBC family of networks.

IMSA’s Bill Auberlen joins NASCAR America to discuss this weekend’s race at Lime Rock

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Turner Motorsport GTD driver Bill Auberlen joined NBC Sports’ Marty Snyder on NASCAR America Presents the Motorsports Hour Thursday to discuss a variety of topics, including Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship race at Lime Rock Park.

Auberlen, alongside co-driver Robby Foley, enters Lime Rock with a great amount of momentum after finishing on the GTD podium at Watkins Glen and taking the GTD class honors in the most recent IMSA race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

There’s also an extra incentive for the duo to win this weekend as well, as Auberlen is one win away from tying Scott Pruett for the most IMSA victories all-time.

Both drivers will have to be on their A-game this weekend, however, as Auberlen stated that Lime Rock is one of the tougher circuits on the IMSA calendar and compared the 1.5-mile Connecticut road course to a short track.

“It’s what we call the bullring of our season,” Auberlen said. “It is a 54-second lap and we’re going to go around it a million times before the end of the day. It’s going to be a hot one, and I think whoever survives this is going to be on the podium.”

Luckily for the GTD and GTLM teams, with no Protoype and LMP2 entries competing at Lime Rock this weekend, the worry of having to yield to entries from the faster classes is gone.

“These Protoypes are so fast now, that interacting with them, you can’t imagine,” Auberlen said. “We have radars in our car that can alert us when they are coming.

“They get on you so fast that if you’re not always looking or something is not telling you they’re coming, you could have a problem and catch into them. That’s gone. Now it’s going to be focus-forward. You’re going to be focused on everything ahead of you. You got GLTM in there at the same time, but they’re virtually the same speed as us – just a little bit faster.

“It’s going to be nice. When you stand on that podium you might be able to go for an overall victory.”

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