Maharajah of the road
Atlanta, Georgia USA - September 26, 2009
The Petit Le Mans (French for little Le Mans) is a sports car endurance race held annually at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, USA. It uses the rules established for the 24 hours of Le Mans by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), which are slightly modified if necessary, mainly to allow additional cars to compete.
The race was founded by Road Atlanta owner Don Panoz and first run on October 10, 1998 as part of the IMSA season. The 1999 edition was one of the original events of the American Le Mans Series. The 2010 edition will be also part of the Le Mans Intercontinental Cup.
The Petit Le Mans covers a maximum of 1,000 miles (1,600 km) (which is approximately 394 laps) or a maximum of 10 hours, whichever comes first; only once, in the rain-stopped 2009 race, has the leading team failed to complete 1,000 miles (1,600 km). In addition to the overall race, teams of two or three drivers per car compete for class victories in four different classes of cars, two for Le Mans prototypes and two for grand tourer cars. Class winners of this event receive an automatic invitation to the following year's 24 Hours of Le Mans.