Road Atlanta: Essex Racing race report

Melanie Paterson, Jason Workman and Essex Racing had a weekend full of challenges at the Chevy Grand Prix of Atlanta. Melanie and Jason drove the Imation/Romano's Macaroni Grill Lola/Nissan to fifth place in the LMP 675 category and 23rd overall...

Melanie Paterson, Jason Workman and Essex Racing had a weekend full of challenges at the Chevy Grand Prix of Atlanta. Melanie and Jason drove the Imation/Romano's Macaroni Grill Lola/Nissan to fifth place in the LMP 675 category and 23rd overall in the American Le Mans Series this weekend at Road Atlanta. The 2 Hour, 45 minute race was broadcast live on CBS.

"The whole team did a great job considering everything we had to deal with," said Melanie. "The weather was a huge factor and, with heavy rains most of the day on Saturday, we just didn't get the car set up the way we needed it for the race on Sunday."

Most of Saturday's sessions were either in the rain or on a damp track, making it difficult to fine-tune the set-up for the race, which was in dry, hot weather. A few setbacks such as an off-track excursion in the first practice and some fuel delivery issues later in the day left the team with little time to sort out the car. Due to heavy rains, the qualifying session was cancelled and the starting grid was set based on the fastest lap of any practice session. Melanie took the start in the Essex Racing Lola/Nissan from 28th on the grid.

"I started the car and drove for about 50 minutes until the engine stumbled then shut off going up the hill at turn one," Melanie said. "We're still not sure what happened, as we should not have been out of fuel at that point. Jason got in and was in and out of the pits trying to get the fueling issue resolved. He did a great job of bringing a very difficult car home on this hot day."

Essex Racing will be competing at Sears Point, however, Melanie will skip that race due to lack of funding. Melanie is now preparing for her next races, in her home country, Le Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres followed by the Grand Prix of Mosport.

Melanie's corporate partners are technology leader Imation Canada Inc. and Cartech of San Antonio, Texas, a manufacturer of forced induction and high performance automotive components. Melanie's other corporate partners include Maraca Canada, Driving Unlimited, GeoGraphics Motorsports Graphics and Digital North Media.

For more information on the American Le Mans Series schedule, visit www.melaniepaterson.com

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Series ALMS
Drivers Melanie Paterson , Jason Workman