GT Le Mans at Petit 2019: End of some eras

October 12, 2019

GT Le Mans at Petit 2019: End of some eras

October 12, 2019

This year’s Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta concludes several eras within IMSA’s GT Le Mans class.

For the first five years of IMSA’s merged championship from 2014 to 2018, this was the only class Michelin was eligible to compete in.

Yet all the manufacturers in the series opted to select Michelin as their tire technical partner in the series’ only open-tire class.

For three of the four full-season manufacturers, change is imminent after today’s race (begins at noon EDT, NBC).

Porsche ends its three-year run with its current model 911 RSR, the first that placed the engine in front of the rear axle, and the car that has dominated the results tables throughout 2019.

Its new car, also called the 911 RSR, has already premiered in the FIA World Endurance Championship new season. It promptly won on debut in Silverstone.

Meanwhile for the two American manufacturers in the field, more significant endings are coming.

Corvette Racing’s 21-year run with a front-engine car, and six-year run with its current model C7.R, is set to end before the biggest transformation in the team and brand’s history: to the mid-engine Corvette Stingray, also known as the C8. The racing version of the new road car was officially announced last week.

For Ford, the curtain comes down altogether on the factory GT program, a revolutionary GT car that changed the game in class. During the four year run, Ford conquered the 24 Hours of Le Mans, won a GTLM manufacturer’s championship, and consistently proved itself as a pole-sitting, race-winning contender.

BMW, like Porsche, announces its following year’s motorsports program at its year-end event in Germany. Its M8 GTE is in its second year having premiered in 2018. The car won this year’s Rolex 24 At Daytona.

BMW has still been busy though, with an X5M launch at its hospitality display on Friday.

Motul Petit Le Mans Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta 5300 Winder Highway Braselton, GA 30517 United States October 10-12

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