Road Atlanta: Bill Auberlen race report

Bill Auberlen - another record Bill Auberlen enjoyed another record-setting race weekend, this time with a powerful GT2 performance in the American Le Mans Series event at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. Auberlen, of Redondo Beach, Calif., and ...

Bill Auberlen - another record

Bill Auberlen enjoyed another record-setting race weekend, this time with a powerful GT2 performance in the American Le Mans Series event at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. Auberlen, of Redondo Beach, Calif., and Robin Liddell of Edinburgh, Scotland, were on form all week, pacing the No. 50 Panoz Esperante GTLM to the head of the class in testing, practice, qualifying and the April 17 race.

Auberlen posted a record class pole position with his lap of one minute 21.647 seconds on the 2.54-mile road course. He started the race and held the class lead throughout his hour stint. Liddell drove the second stint, setting the fastest GT2 lap and relinquishing the lead only briefly during a pit stop. He was spun off track with just four minutes remaining in the two-hour 45-minute race, but regained the lead in the final minute as the car that hit him was penalized.

The resulting victory was the first GT2 win for Panoz Motor Sports, fittingly earned at the team's home track. "Road Atlanta is the home of the Panoz; it's where the Panoz is made. That makes it doubly sweet to do it on their home turf," Auberlen said.

"We produced a winner against one of the biggest factory efforts in sports-car racing, against Porsche. We did a lot of testing in the off-season. We all contributed, from all directions of our skills and know-how. We kept making it better, better, better. I saw the potential. I've seen lap times come out of this thing that are phenomenal.

"We weren't just hoping it would happen -- we were a dominant factor this weekend. If somebody wanted to win, they would have to go past us to get the win. That's a neat way to go racing, to be that strong."

Auberlen set 35 records en route to four professional sports-car championships in the past three seasons.

-sp-

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Series ALMS
Drivers Bill Auberlen