20th Running Of The Petit Le Mans At Road Atlanta

Photos from IMSA's end of season 10 hour Petit Le Mans.

© Rip Shaub. All Rights reserved

IMSA's annual season end celebration of speed takes over Road Atlanta every year in a 10 hour spectacle of endurance racing. The pinnacle of sportscar racing is a must see event, and we were there. Caleb Jacobs is bringing you stories from the weekend including a race recap and a look at Bill Auberlen's historic achievement

Here's a look at some of the on-track action as the race progressed, and a look into how the race was shot.

Team Penske in its Oreca 07 Gibson won the pole, but lose the top spot to the Tequila Patron ESM Nissan DPi in Turn 1. Penske will retake the lead later in the day, but ESM will win the war and stand atop the podium 10 hours from now.© Rip Shaub - All Rights Reserved
11:19 a.m. One of the BMW Team RLL BMW M6 GTLM entries goes a little deep in Turn 3 and kicks up some Georgia red clay. The apron is steep and is known for knocking less stable cars up onto two wheels as they round the turn.© Rip Shaub - All Rights Reserved
11:48 a.m. Between Turns 3 and 4, the cars pick up speed as they drop down the 8 story high hill and into The Esses. It's a great place to pick up a panning shot of the Corvette Racing C7.R in its now-classic yellow livery. © Rip Shaub - All Rights Reserved
11:58 a.m. Shooting trackside between Turns 4 and 5 is off limits, but stepping away from the track into the woods lets you get partially obscured panning shots through the trees. Those trees perfectly frame the long snout of the Riley Motorsports Team AMG Mercedes AMG GT3. The team would clinch the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Championship after the day's race.© Rip Shaub - All Rights Reserved
Bill Auberlen and BMW Team RLL's other entry were one of the big stories of the weekend. Auberlen started in his 400th race for BMW Motorsports and their GTLM victory was his 151st win with the team.© Rip Shaub - All Rights Reserved
12:07 p.m. After Turn 4 is the stretch known as The Esses. Unnumbered, they continue up the 7 story climb to Turn 5 at the top. © Rip Shaub - All Rights Reserved
12:13 p.m. SunEnergy Racing also runs an AMG GT3. Here it is in the straight between Turns 5 and 6 picking up speed before the hard braking into the twin right handers that send the cars back North.© Rip Shaub - All Rights Reserved
1:20 p.m. Turn 7. Here we spot a German sandwich, tightly grouped through the turn.© Rip Shaub - All Rights Reserved
2:01 p.m. After the long hike through the woods, we emerge at the stadium section of Turns 10A and 10B. A favorite for fans, this location features a fast left-right combination known for high drama and risky passing. A Porsche Factory Team 911 RSR leads the pack around 10B.© Rip Shaub - All Rights Reserved
2:09 p.m. A few steps away gives us a view from the other side of 10B as the Alegra Motorsports GTD class 911R takes the turn. © Rip Shaub - All Rights Reserved
2:18 p.m. Cars exiting 10B swing wide to the left apron and head for the steepest drop on the track. 3GT's Lexus RCF GT3 leads Team Penske and two LMP2 cars to the cliff. There is no Turn 11 at Road Atlanta.© Rip Shaub - All Rights Reserved
3:54 p.m. We pick up at nearly the same spot, but this time on the inside of the track at driver's right. Paul Miller Racing's Lamborghini Huracan GT3 glides under the bridge that crosses the track on the way to Turn 12.© Rip Shaub - All Rights Reserved
4:37 p.m. A long hike brings us back to Turn 7, in the inside of the track. (Note the tires in the background are the same from our German sandwich several hours ago.) Fresh off a restart, these GT cars are still closely packed as they head down the back straight for the Turns 10a-b.© Rip Shaub - All Rights Reserved
5:30 p.m. Standing at the top of Turn 5, just at the bottom of Spectator Hill, gives a head-on view into the Esses as the cars climb back up the hill. Park Place Motorsports' 911 GT3 R leads the way.© Rip Shaub - All Rights Reserved
5:32 p.m. From the same spot, a closer look at the Team Penske Oreca as it exits Turn 5 and heads for the far end of the track.© Rip Shaub - All Rights Reserved
5:47 p.m. Heading down into the valley of Turn 4 and looking up toward Turn 5 gives a nice tail view of the Porsche Factory 911 RSR as it prepares to crest the hill and break to the right into Turn 5. © Rip Shaub - All Rights Reserved
6:01 p.m. The Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 is looking rough as it heads for The Esses. They were the last car running to go over the line on Saturday, but that dissapointment was short-lived as they won the overall GTD Championship for the season.© Rip Shaub - All Rights Reserved
6:59 p.m. After a quick break, we are back on the track in darkness as the Alex Job Audi R8 LMS GT3 rounds Turn 1.© Rip Shaub - All Rights Reserved
7:23 p.m. Back at Turn 3. One of Chip Ganassi's Ford GT entries is illuminated by the white lights of a prototype car as it rounds the turn.© Rip Shaub - All Rights Reserved
8:26 p.m. With minutes left in the race, the Ganassi 67 team sits back in the pits and waits. Tires and fuel are good to go until the checkered flag, and it's a waiting game.© Rip Shaub - All Rights Reserved