This was the first Rolex Grand-Am race at Road Atlanta, but Tony Dean's Porsche 908/3 won the first-ever race at the track - the SCCA Can-Am in September of 1970.
BRASELTON, Ga. Park Place Motorsports led a five-car Porsche customer team attack on Road Atlanta in today's Visual Studio Ultimate Grand Prix of Atlanta. The No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup entry of Porsche factory driver Patrick Long (Belleair, Fla.) and Patrick Lindsey (Santa Barbara, Calif.) finished second in the GT class, the new team's first GRAND-AM Rolex Series podium, followed by the No. 59 Brumos Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in fourth. Closing the top-five was Magnus Racing's No. 44 911 GT3 Cup car in the Rolex Series first appearance at the Braselton, Ga. racetrack.
Park Place Motorsports, the racing arm of Park Place Porsche in Dallas, Texas made its debut at this season's Rolex 24 At Daytona. Long and Lindsey raced in the top-five of the class throughout the day here in Georgia. However, in the final 15-minutes of the two-hour, 45-minute race, Long closed on and passed the Brumos car to enter the top-three. The two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner then began his hunt for second-place passing the No. 63 Ferrari 458 on the final lap of the race moving the No. 73 into second-place just before the checkered flag.
"A fantastic day for our race team for both cars," said an enthusiastic Lindsey. "The Park Place Motorsports guys did the best job in the paddock. Wish our friends back in Dallas could have been here and everyone at Children's Tumor Foundation. Thinking of all of our NF heroes today."
"The race was not as simple as it may have seemed," reflected Long, Porsche's only American factory driver. "With it running green after the first yellow all the way to the end it was difficult to know what was going to happen. When the dust settled it was just a knock-down brawl to the finish. Everyone was running to the end of their tire life. The DPs were super aggressive. It came down to traffic and tire conservation. Every time we came into the pits we gained on our rivals. We were one step from the top but this is a young group and the goal is to just to do better every weekend. If we improve on a linear rate, we are going to be there for the championship in the end. It's an honor to be a part of this Park Place group."
Brumos Racing was making its final scheduled race start of 2013 at Road Atlanta today. The only team to have started every GRAND-AM race since the Series' inception in 2000, had hoped to finish on a high on the podium and nearly did so as Leh Keen (Charleston, S.C.) led the race after taking over the wheel from local Andrew Davis (Athens, Ga.). However, after a late-race pit stop for fuel, a strategic effort by the team that had gained the legendary team a lead of over 30 seconds, Keen was unable to challenge for the lead again and lost the podium as Long made his move towards the front. After competing in both the GT and Daytona Prototype ranks over the lifetime of GRAND-AM, the Jacksonville, Fla.-based team will now focus on the 2014 race season.
Davis commented: "It was a great weekend here at Road Atlanta for me personally as I was able to drive the famous Brumos 911 on the track where I grew up. It was an emotional week with our short season coming to an early end. We're obviously all disappointed in that. I'm very proud of the Brumos crew and how they fought through the week. We had a great car from out of the box and we never stopped improving. Credit to the Wright Motorsports guys who came in to help us this event. Thanks as always to Porsche, Brumos Racing and all the Brumos companies for all their support. It's been an amazing ride and I'm looking forward to the future."
The grid for the fourth race of the 2013 season was set by team points due to rain washing out the scheduled 15-minute qualifying session on Friday. As a result, Magnus Racing started from the pole position with owner/driver John Potter (Salt Lake City, Utah) taking the green flag at the front of the 12-car field. After teammate Andy Lally (Dacula, Ga.) took-over the No. 44 Magnus Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year was able to move the car into the lead. The team would eventually fall to fifth at the conclusion of the day.
The remaining Porsche, the No. 18 Muelhner Motorsports America entry of Aaron Povoledo (Toronto) and Josh Hurley (Gainesville, Fla.) and the No. 71 Park Place Motorsports entry driven by Jason Hart (Flower Mound, Texas) and John McCutchen (Dallas, Texas), finished ninth and tenth respectively.
The next round of the GRAND-AM Rolex Series will be June 1 at Detroit's Belle Isle temporary circuit.
Race Results - GT class
1. Edwards (USA)/Liddell (Ire), Stevenson Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro
2. Lindsey (USA)/Long (USA), Park Place Motorsports, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
3. Balzan (Rovigo)/Westphal (USA), Scuderia Corsa, Ferrari 458
4. Davis (USA)/Keen (USA), Brumos Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
5. Lally (USA)/Potter (USA), Magnus Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
9. Hurley (USA)/Povoledo (CAN), Muehlner Motorsports America Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
10. Hart (USA)/McCutchen (USA), Park Place Motorsports, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
Point Standings - GT class
1. Alessandro Balzan 110
2. John Potter 109
Andy Lally 109
3. Robin Liddell 102
John Edwards 102
4. Paul Dalla Lana 101
5. Emil Assentato 101
Anthony Lazzaro 101
6. Patrick Lindsey 99
Patrick Long 99
7. Andrew Davis 97
Leh Keen 97
8. Jeff Segal 90
Max Papis 90
9. Boris Said 84
10. Dion von Moltke 81
Please note: Photos of the GRAND-AM Rolex Series are available for accredited journalists from the Porsche Press Database under the internet address http://press.porsche.com/media/gallery2/v/photos/motorsports/happenings/