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Porsche Makes History at Petit Le Mans Deluge

October 4, 2015

Near-torrential rains poured over the Road Atlanta circuit making the already-saturated clay hills even more treacherous for championship hopefuls. The Tudor United SportsCar Championship’s final round of the 2015 season, Petit Le Mans, played host to some of the worst racing conditions many of the teams reported every seeing.

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Racing resumed with three hours and twenty-three minutes remaining. What turned out to be the final hour of the race saw Nick Tandy taking the #911 Porsche 911 RSR for Porsche North America continuing to carve through the field, culminating in a pass of Eric Curran in the #31 Action Express Corvette Daytona Prototype in turn 10. Tandy put another six seconds on Curran in the following lap.

The tenth full course yellow was thrown with two hours and twenty-six minutes remaining due to two separate accidents involving LMPC cars. Cars ran behind the pace car for seventeen minutes before the decision was made seemingly suddenly to show the checkered flag. The rain had come in heavily, perhaps the heaviest rain that had been seen all weekend.  Combined with the sunlight rapidly disappearing, the spray surely would prove to be disastrous if green flag racing resumed.

Tandy’s performance culminated the domination on display from Porsche North America all weekend. Both cars were consistently quick, to the point of domination. The sister 912 had a rough race, however, finding itself off track a couple times, and even in the barrier once.

The overall podium was rounded out by the #24 BMW Z4 GTLM for Team RLL, with Jens Klingmann finishing the race, and the #5 Action Express Mustang Samples Corvette Daytona Prototype, the race finished by Joao Barbosa.

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The GT Le Mans and Prototype winners were on the podium. Tom Kimber-Smith brought the winning #52 PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports machine home for the win after dominating the category the entire race, and the #73 Porsche 911 GT America for Park Place Motorsports won in GT Daytona with Spencer Pumpelly finishing the race in a category that saw plenty of action and position swapping throughout the race.

This year saw 199 laps completed, not quite half as many run last year at 400. All drivers and team personnel polled noted that this was the worst conditions they had ever seen in a race, and a GT car won overall for the first time ever. For better or worse, the 2015 Petit Le Mans is likely to be one of the most iconic sports races for quite some time.

Unofficial Race Results

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