McDONOUGH — Racing returns to Georgia this week as the Motul Petit Le Mans visits Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in Braselton for the IMSA WeatherTech Championship finale.

For more than 20 years the Motul Petit Le Mans has been run but with this event comes the end of an era in motorsports. Chevrolet and their C7.R race machine will be replaced with the new car announced a week ago.

Corvette Racing will want to get C7.R a win over but and Road Atlanta could be a strong chance to do so. In the previous four events, the C7.R has recorded podium finishes with runner-up finishes in the last two.

Top talent Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner and Marcel Fässler are back in the No. 4 while Antonio Garcia, Jan Magnussen and Mike Rockenfeller are back in the No. 3 looking for the first win at Road Atlanta since 2010.

“I really want to win Petit Le Mans. Corvette Racing has always been strong at Road Atlanta in past years but we have just missed out on wins there. It’s been very, very close,” Garcia said. “The championship is very unlikely so we can go all-out for a win. This event is one I like very much because of the track and the distance.”

Even with Garcia and Magnussen being two-time defending champions and looking at an outside shot at the points, Corvette Racing is looking for their 100th victory in IMSA competition. Magnussen should be one to watch as he’s made every start in the Petit Le Mans since 1999.

“I’ve made every start at Petit Le Mans since 1999, so this race has a special meaning to me,” Magnussen said. “The event is great, the fans are great and the track is great. In many ways it’s the most demanding race we do.”

On the other hand, car No. 4 for Corvette Racing has had a pretty trying year in the words of Gavin but a strong finish at Petit Le Mans would leave them with a bit of satisfaction.

“Road Atlanta presents a unique challenge when you consider the length of the race, nature of the track and the amount of cars,” Gavin said. “It’s definitely one of the biggest races on the IMSA calendar – nearly on the same level as Daytona and Sebring.”

Along with the theme of the other drivers, Milner, who hails from Virginia says that Road Atlanta is challenging and fun.

“Petit Le Mans is an incredible event. Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta provides such great racing and passing opportunities — some places where the prototype guys try to sneak in at places make it exciting for us and them,” Milner said.

“In our GT cars, it’s so fast. There’s so much grip and such a huge challenge. The track is fun by yourself, but when you add in the full field and 10 hours, it makes for a great race. It’s one where everyone holds their breath to the checkered flag. I’m excited. Our Corvettes have always been fast there.”

Sports Editor

Graduated from South Carolina State University in 2015. Been with the Henry Herald and Clayton News in two capacities as a sports journalist and interim sports editor.

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