- Category: History
- Published: Wednesday, November 27 2013 10:26
Dozens of manufacturers have competed at Road Atlanta over the past four decades, but one stands out as a major force in every era. Porsche began its winning ways at Road Atlanta in 1973 and has never looked back.
During the infancy of the IMSA Camel GT era, Porsche battled American muscle cars like Corvette and Camaro, and usually came out on top. Peter Gregg gave Porsche its first major win at Road Atlanta aboard a Carrera in 1973. Al Holbert and Elliott Forbes-Robinson won in a Porsche the following year. Porsche really flexed its muscle beginning in 1978 when the incredible 935 began a five-year domination of IMSA endurance races. John Fitzpatrick, John Paul Jr. and Peter Gregg were among the drivers who tallied Porsche 935 wins at Road Atlanta.
The Porsche 962 was the mainstay of the early GTP era, taking the win at Road Atlanta in 1987 with Price Cobb and James Weaver driving. Porsche was also racking up wins in the GT category throughout the Camel GT era.
During the IMSA WSC era that began in 1994, Porsche concentrated on GT efforts, and after an unusual "dry spell" at Road Atlanta, retuned to the top of the podium with two class wins in 1997. They repeated that feat the following year in the first Petit Le Mans.
The American Le Mans Series era brought Porsche incredible 14 class wins, and the LMP2 class Porsche RS Spyder came within a second of winning overall in 2007. Among the drivers two record wins for Porsche were Bob Wollek, Sascha Maassen, Helio Castroneves, Ryan Briscoe, Patrick Long, Jorg Bergmeister, Romain Dumas, Andy Lally and Lucas Luhr.
With the TUDOR Championship set to begin next year, Porsche has already announced a factory-supported team (Core Autosport) in the GTLM category and several more entries in the GTD class. With the new LMP1 Porsche racing in the WEC, Porsche fans will have plenty to root for in 2014!