Voices of Petit - Johnny O'Connell

VOICES OF PETIT: JOHNNY O'CONNELL Johnny O'Connell knows a thing or two about Road Atlanta. Along with being a winner at Petit Le Mans, O'Connell can practically hear the sounds of the track from his Flowery Branch, Ga....

VOICES OF PETIT: JOHNNY O'CONNELL

Johnny O'Connell knows a thing or two about Road Atlanta. Along with being a winner at Petit Le Mans, O'Connell can practically hear the sounds of the track from his Flowery Branch, Ga. home. With a Series-leading 83 career starts, including seven at the founding event of the American Le Mans Series, O'Connell is more than qualified to speak on the track and Petit Le Mans' place in the world of endurance racing.

Excitement everywhere: "That place has grown unbelievably. People can expect an awesome time with tons of things to do. The Road Atlanta staff does an amazing job. It will be one heck of a race. In battle between the P1 and P2 cars, the Audis are going to be really strong there. In the Corvettes we have some competition, which will be kind of nice. You're going to have four classes where everyone is battling. Petit Le Mans has come to be one of those ones you want on your resume and it is a race everyone does want to win."

A familiar setting: "It's a challenging race track. It's very fast, and you have that long back- straightaway with a very good overtaking area at the end of it. Then you have Turn 12, which is one of those that you just have to suck 'em up to go through flat-out. It's the same with Turn 1. It's a roller coaster ride that has very good rhythm. With the improvements that Don Panoz has made to that facility over the years, you have to thank the people on Road Atlanta staff because with it being repaved I think you're going to be one of the fastest Petit Le Mans ever."

The 10th running of Petit Le Mans, the annual 1,000-mile/10-hour endurance classic at Road Atlanta, is set for 11:15 a.m. ET on Saturday, October 6. SPEED will provide live coverage from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again from 6:30 to 10 p.m. American Le Mans Radio and IMSA's Live Timing and Scoring will be available at www.americanlemans.com.

-credit: alms

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Johnny O'Connell , Don Panoz