The 14th annual Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta is just 9 days away and the entry list is more impressive than ever.  The 1,000 mile/10-hour enduro is the final round of the 2011 American Le Mans Series and the penultimate round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup.  Because of the strong participation in the ILMC this year, many international teams that aren’t seen during the regular season have entered this year’s event.   As it stands now,  58 cars will fight for 53 starting grid positions.

In LMP1, 13 cars are entered; nine of which are ILMC competitors including the Audi R18 and Peugeot 908 diesels.  Petit Le Mans marks the U.S. debut of the R18 after running the rest of the ILMC season overseas.  24 Hours of Le Mans winner, Marcel Fässler, will team up with Timo Bernhard in the #1 Audi R18 TDI while the powerhouse team of Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen will pilot the #2 Audi R18 TDI.

Two factory backed Peugeot 908s will be running hard against the Audis with Sebastien Bourdais and Anthony Davidson in the #7 908 and Franck Montagny and Stephane Sarrazin in the #8 car.  The 2011 Sebring 12 Hours winning Team Oreca Matmut Peugeot 908 Hdi-FAP will also be in attendance, driven by Nicolas Lapierre and Nicolas Minassian.

Guy Smith returns to co-drive with Chris Dyson in the LMP1 Mazda powered Dyson Racing G-Oil Lola B09/86.  Dyson Racing clinched the 2011 American Le Mans LMP1 championship at Laguna Seca last week.  The factory Aston Martin Racing team will be running their AMR/Lola Coupe B09 which took the overall win at Laguna Seca last week.  Their driver lineup includes Adrian Fernandez, Stefan Mücke and Harold Primat.

The LMP2 class has five cars entered, including  two Level 5 Motorsports HPD ARX01-Gs which debuted at Laguna Seca last weekend.  Marino Franchitti will pair up with Scott Tucker in the #055 ARX-O1g.  United Autosports makes their U.S. debut with their #22 Oak Pescarolo/Judd powered car which will be piloted by Zak Brown and Stefan Johansson.

In GT, 19 cars are entered with six GTE Am participants guaranteed a start.  13 of the cars entered are full-time ALMS entries while five cars are European LMS competitors and a single Robertson Racing Doran Ford GT.  Team Lotus Jetalliance will be entering two Lotus Evoras in GT while AF Corse will be entering one Ferrari F458 in GT and a Ferrari F430 in GTE Am.

Because of the high number of entries at Petit Le Mans this year, the LMPC and GTC cars that are full season ALMS competitors and have started every race this season will be guaranteed a start at the race.  The rest of the cars who do not earn a qualifying spot will be listed as alternates.

2011 Petit Le Mans Broadcast Schedule:

ABC TV Recap Broadcast 4:00 – 6:00 PM EDT Oct 2nd
ESPN3 LIVE Qualifying Stream 2:55 – 4:10 PM EDT Sept 30th
ESPN3 LIVE Race Stream 11:15 AM – 9:45 PM EDT Oct 1st

We will have full coverage of the 14th Annual Petit Le Mans  from Road Atlanta starting next Wednesday when we hit the ground.  S:S:L test driver, Michael Mills, will also be piloting the Tax Masters Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car in the GT3 Challenge races starting on Thursday.  Stay tuned for complete coverage!

The full 2011 Petit Le Mans Entry List can be found on IMSARacing.net

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Zerin Dube

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