The 2015 Petit Le Mans promises to be even more exciting than usual, as this year sees the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship's four class titles all set to be decided in what's sure to be a dramatic final race of the campaign on Saturday.
As RoadAtlanta.com noted, "the driver, team and manufacturer championships in the Prototype (P), Prototype Challenge (PC), GT Le Mans (GTLM) and GT Daytona (GTD) classes" will all be claimed at the 18th edition of the 10-hour endurance race at Road Atlanta.
OGaraMotorsport shared the route on Twitter:
Here's all the viewing information you need to catch the showpiece event.
Date: Saturday, October 3
Start Time: 11:10 a.m. ET
TV: Fox Sports 2
Live Stream: IMSA.com
As indicated above, it's incredibly close in all four classes.
The biggest gap is in the Prototype Challenge class, in which Jon Bennett and Colin Braun of CORE Autosport enjoy a relatively healthy 12-point lead going into the classic.
It's much tighter in the others, though, as VisitFlorida.com Racing's Michael Valiante and Richard Westbrook are only six points ahead of two Action Express Racing teams in the Prototype class.
Patrick Pilet has a lead of just three points in the GT Le Mans, and a single point is all that separates Christina Nielsen from Paul Miller Racing's Christopher Haase and Dion von Moltke in GT Daytona.
According to RoadAtlanta.com, Westbrook is anticipating a tight finish to the race:
The fact that only six points are separating the three Coyotes [Corvette DP chassis] shows how even it is. I’m sure the championship is going to go down to the last hour of Petit Le Mans, which—from a fan perspective—is incredible. The championship would be an incredible achievement, but we haven’t won it yet.
Valiante and Westbrook have won twice already this season at the Mazda Raceway and Watkins Glen and came third in their last outing at the Circuit of the Americas and only need to repeat that finish to guarantee the championship win.
Their rivals—Dane Cameron and Eric Curran of No. 5 Action Express Racing and Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi of No. 31 Action Express Racing—have perhaps slightly less momentum heading into the showdown having finished fifth and sixth, respectively, last time out.
However, Chip Ganassi Racing won in Texas and could throw a spanner in the works with another win in Georgia. It would be unlikely to earn them the championship, but should the two Action Express teams then finish immediately behind them, Valiante and Westbrook would be denied the win in dramatic fashion.
As for Nielsen, winning in the GT Daytona would represent a significant achievement, per TUDOR Championship:
"Winning the championship would be a major accomplishment in my career, and I believe it is a step in the right direction towards becoming a pro driver," Nielsen said, according to IMSA.com. "Also the fact that no other female has won it before makes it even more special."
However, to do so, she must almost certainly earn her first win of the season. The 23-year-old is yet to win in this campaign but finds herself topping the standings after showing remarkable consistency in finishing second four times and third once.
With Haase and Von Moltke lurking so perilously close behind, however, a second-place finish won't be enough if her rivals win the race, as Scuderia Corsa's Bill Sweedler and Townsend Bell are also a significant threat at four points behind.
As IMSA.com notes, even Riley Motorsports are in with a chance, having won two of the last three races to make themselves the outside contenders. The pressure to achieve an unprecedented win could make or break Nielsen, but don't rule out an incredible fairytale ending for the Dane just yet.