MINI JCW Team Race Preview: Road Atlanta

Official Release: It’s the last dance for the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge for 2015 and the road ends at Road Atlanta. It would be hard to find a more fitting venue than the challenging 2.5 mile, 12 turn course for a race that will make or break a few team’s seasons and could well determine the champions in the GS and ST classes. The MINI JCW Team is not in the run for the championship this year, but that doesn’t mean they are not going all out for a great finish. They have a few cards up their sleeves that they are going to play in the red clay of northern Georgia.

Three of a Kind is Hard to Beat

Would you believe a third MINI? That’s right, MINI JCW Team will add a third MINI to its lineup this week—MINI #73 will be joining the Antistatic Design #37 and the Mayer Electrical Supply #53 MINIs as the Team goes all-out. There’s no sense saving anything, the next race is several months away. Zack Meyer and Stephen Simpson will man the #37 MINI, while Ramin Abdolvahabi and Tyler Stone will co-drive #52. Both teams are coming off fine efforts at Circuit of the Americas and are looking to move up at Road Atlanta. The new kid, #73 MINI will be driven by Mark Pombo and Derek Jones, both experienced racers.

Car Development Continues

The third MINI will give the Team extra track time to try out new development items and new strategies. When it comes to fine tuning a race car, nothing beats extra track time and the extra time could well help all of the MINIs go faster. Stephen Simpson agrees and is optimistic about ending the season on a high note, “We are excited to have the #73 on track as it will help us continue to learn and develop the cars. We are obviously going to be working really hard to finish the season on a high note and achieve our best result of the season.”

Road Atlanta

Road Atlanta has been challenging drivers and cars for over 40 years. The 2.5 mile, 12-turn track with 115 feet of elevation change has seen the best of them—drivers like Dan Gurney, Peter Gregg, Mario Andretti, Paul Newman and Mark Donohue; and race series such as the Can-Am, Formula 5000, IMSA Camel GT and the Trans Am. Millions of dollars have been spent on improvements since Dr. Panoz purchased the track in 1996. Upgrades have included:

  • Reconfiguration of the track by removing the infamous Dip and adding club a school courses
  • Adding 100 ft. infield tunnel
  • Adding barriers and gravel traps around the course
  • 10,000 seat Terrace seating complex overlooking the infield paddock

MINI Car Corral

Yes, there will be a MINI car corral at Road Atlanta sponsored by MINI USA and presented by MotorWerks Magazine. The corral will be on Friday Oct. 2 only and will be limited to 50 cars that buy tickets. For prices and the latest information about the corral, please visit MotorWerks Magazine’s website. This is your last chance until next year to hang around with cool MINI fans and watch the season-ending race. It doesn’t get much better than that for MINIacs.

Race and Broadcast Times

The Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race will get the green flag at 12:15 p.m. ET on Friday, October 2nd. For ticket information and a detailed race weekend schedule, please see the CTSCC website. If you can’t be there in person, you can still catch all of the MINI action—the two and a half hour race will be streamed live on IMSA TV and IMSA Mobile App, and will be rebroadcast on Fox Sports 1 on October 18th. Please check your local cable company schedule for the exact time and channel.

Photo Credit: MINI USA/Halston Pitman