SPEED Set for Flag-To-Flag Petit Le Mans Coverage
SPEED, the definitive network for motor sports and the automotive lifestyle, will provide ten-and-a-half hours of live ‘flag to flag’ coverage from this year’s American Le Mans Series (ALMS) Petit Le Mans fall endurance classic starting Saturday, Sept. 26 at 11 a.m., ET, from picturesque Road Atlanta, just north of the city.
The race, despite being only a little more than a decade old, has quickly moved up the totem pole of prestigious motor sports events – drawing interest from top-notch competitors throughout the world. It’s become the third spoke of the big three international sports car endurance races (The 12 Hours of Sebring (Fla.), Le Mans 24 Hours and Petit Le Mans) that fall under the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) rulebook. The Petit Le Mans winner receives an automatic invite into next year’s Le Mans 24 Hours.
The Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona – the world’s other historically significant endurance race - is sanctioned by the Rolex Grand American Road Racing Series.
Handling play-by-play duties for Petit Le Mans will be shared by popular sport car talkers Leigh Diffey and Brian Till. Providing color commentary are sports car veterans Dorsey Schroeder and Calvin Fish. On pit road, Justin Bell, Jamie Howe, Chris Neville and Kelli Stavast will cover all the news and notes during the race.
“We’re very excited about our ability to cover Petit Le Mans flag to flag for the first time,” said Rick Miner, SPEED SVP of Studio Production & Operations. “With the strength of the field this year – especially in the GT category – there will be a lot of great racing taking place.”
Action from Petit Le Mans can also be seen on SPEEDtv.com, where Michelin will be presenting live qualifying on Friday, Sept. 25 at 2:20 p.m. ET. In addition, race fans who seek the live two screen experience can watch SPEEDtv.com’s Acura On-Board Pass starting at 11 a.m., ET on Saturday, Sept. 26. There will be three different cameras to choose from.
This year’s event will feature the Le Mans winning LMP1 cars from Peugeot’s factory program, as they re-engage its now three-year endurance battle with Audi, who will bring two of their new R-15 TDI entries, one of which won in its debut at Sebring earlier this year with Allan McNish, Tom Christensen and Dindo Capello behind the wheel. Joining this year’s race will be the strong ALMS LMP1 factory entries from Acura, while a healthy group of independent teams, including Team ORECA, who recently called Petit Le Mans the ‘third biggest sports car race in the world,’ will be on hand.
Also on tap will be the P2 category, where Mazda will be favored over privateers driving Porsche, Acura and Radical entries. Despite the great competition in LMP1, the GT2 category may have the most intriguing storylines as Chevrolet Corvette, BMW, Porsche, Ferrari, Dodge and Panoz are among the cars that will be going toe-to-toe in a heated manufacturer tussle.