Track to be named Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in 2019

IMSA.com
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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.

Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
Barry Chin / Getty Images
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

How to Watch Nitro Rallycross

Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.