Michelin Wraps Up IMSA Season With Big Petit Le Mans Success
- Track temperatures of just 39 degrees at finish of Motul Petit Le Mans
- Mazda, WeatherTech Porsche, Heart Aston Martin take race wins
- Whelen Cadillac, Corvette Racing, Pfaff Porsche claim season titles
- Taylor Hagler first female Michelin Pilot Challenge champion
Braselton, GA—Nov. 13, 2021 –Michelin showed its exceptional range of race tire performance on a diverse field of entries and conditions at the final race weekend of the 2021 International Motor Sports Association season at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
A stunning array of more than 150 total entries representing 17 different automotive manufacturers and 35 different chassis/engine combinations put MICHELIN® Pilot® Sport racing tires to the test in daylight and darkness, sunshine, and near freezing cold.
Track temperatures dropped to just 39 degrees for the finish of the 24th running of the 10 Hour season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans.
“In addition to an extraordinary field of cars and teams, IMSA presents the most diverse range of circuits and conditions of any major championship. We race in daylight and darkness, in heat and cold, rain or shine, on streets and a variety of permanent circuits,” said Tony Ménard, director of motorsport, Michelin North America.
“This ultimate test across conditions is why we choose IMSA as the platform to test our tires,” said Ménard.
A Banner Year
The fast, flowing 2.54 mile, 12 turn Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta circuit saw deep fields, fierce competition, new track records and a banner crowd to celebrate the end of the 2021 season
Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta president and general manager Rick Humphrey acknowledged that “attendance has certainly exceeded 2019, which was a banner year.”
Mazda Motorsports wins Petit Le Mans in its final DPi race and Whelen Engineering Racing takes season title
The No. 55 Mazda finished their DPi program with a victory. Harry Tincknell made the winning pass in the final 20 minutes to share the victory with teammates Oliver Jarvis and Jonathan Bomarito.
The No. 31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac finished runner up in the race with drivers Felipe Nasr, Pipo Derani, and Mike Conway but took home the season championship. Ricky Taylor with the No. 10 Wayne Taylor Racing Acura made a bold bid for the championship title with a last lap pass, but Nasr was able to finish just ahead.
GTLM era ends with Porsche WeatherTech Racing 1-2 and No. 3 Corvette Racing wins 2nd championship in a row
The final race of the GTLM class finished with WeatherTech Racing in the top two spots. Taking the win was the No. 79 Porsche 911 RSR – 19 driven by Cooper MacNeil, Mathieu Jaminet, and Matt Campbell.
Despite being knocked out of the final race in a crash, the No.3 Corvette C8R clinched the season championship with drivers Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia.
Aston Martin Heart of Racing takes race and Porsche Pfaff Racing takes championship in GTD
Ross Gunn, Romain De Angelis, and Ian James won the season finale in the Aston Martin Vantage GT3. This marked the Heart of Racing’s third win of the 2021 season.
Pfaff Motorsports finished runners-up in the race but are season champions with the No. 9 Porsche 911 GT3R driven by Zacharie Robichon and Laurens Vanthoor.
Tower Motorsport gets to victory lane and PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports claims season championship
No. 8 Tower Motorsport took won the LMP2 class race with John Farano, Gabriel Aubry, and James French. Ben Keating and Mikkel Jensen with No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports are winners for the season in LMP2.
Riley Motorsports takes Petit Le Mans and LMP3 season title
No. 74 Riley Motorsports crossed the finish line in first place with Gar Robinson, Felipe Fraga, and Scott Andrews. Robinson completed the season on top of the LMP3 standings.
Michelin Pilot Challenge crowns its first female champion
Taylor Hagler won her first championship as a professional driver with teammate Michael Lewis for Bryan Herta Autosport in a Hyundai Veloster N. Hagler’s season championship in TCR marks the third IMSA championship by a female. Christina Nielsen won two GTD championships in 2016 and 2017.
Jan Heylen became the champion in GS with Wright Motorsports in a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport. He also won the Fox Factory 120 overall with teammate Ryan Hardwick.
Porsche Carrera Cup North America completes inaugural season
Three races were run at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta to finish the first Porsche Carrera Cup North America season. Seb Priaulx won two of them to put an explanation point on his championship winning season.
This year’s overall Le Mans Champs go for the overall win at Petit Le Mans
Michelin won its 24th consecutive overall Le Mans victory in 2021 thanks to drivers Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi with Toyota GAZOO Racing. The two suited up for Petit Le Mans in Cadillacs with Ally Racing and Whelen Engineering Racing. The two spoke to Michelin about the Le Mans victory and racing at Road Atlanta in IMSA before the race. Watch here.
IMSA’s fan access the best of any professional sport
When fans go to a professional football, basketball, or baseball game, they need a credential to get down onto the field or court. But when fans come to an IMSA race, access to the paddock and prerace grid is open with no credential necessary. This gives fans a closeup look at the teams and drivers. Watch our prerace video here to see the perks of being an IMSA fan.
Michelin Post-Race Notes
- The NBC Michelin Tire Technical Minute showcased how this year’s race featured more nighttime racing with cooler temperatures. Townsend Bell broke down what that meant for tires. Watch
- Five new lap records were set over the weekend at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. A new LMP3 qualifying record was set by Niklas Kruetten with United Autosports USA with a lap of 1:15.664. Four race records were made. Tyler Gonzalez in his Copeland Motorsports Hyundai Veloster N TCR ran a lap of 1:28.624. In GTLM, Alexander Sims completed a lap of 1:16.233 in his Corvette C8R. Bryan Sellers of Paul Miller Racing set a new mark in GTD with a circuit of 1:19.310 in a Lamborghini Huracan GT3. In LMP3, Garrett Grist ran a record of 1:15.942 with Jr III Racing.
- The Michelin Moment of the Race in the Fox Factory 120 in GS went to No. 21 Riley Motorsports team for the strategy call to take fuel only for track position at the last stop. The Toyota Supra GT4 finished second in the race marking the first podium for Toyota in IMSA in 2021. In total, 16 manufacturers had a podium finish this season across Michelin Pilot Challenge and WeatherTech Series.
- The Michelin Moment of the Race in TCR was given to Tim Lewis. He guided the KMW Motorsports Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR to victory for the second time this season with teammate Roy Block.
The 2022 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship kicks off with the ROAR Before the 24 from January 21-23 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona, Florida. The WeatherTech Series qualifying race can be seen on Peacock.