Road Atlanta II: Melanie Paterson race report

Successful LMP900 Debut at Petit Le Mans Melanie Paterson had a successful race at the 2003 Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. Joining the American Spirit Racing team, Melanie drove the Amerisuites Riley & Scott MKIIIc LMP900 powered by a Lincoln V8...

Successful LMP900 Debut at Petit Le Mans

Melanie Paterson had a successful race at the 2003 Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. Joining the American Spirit Racing team, Melanie drove the Amerisuites Riley & Scott MKIIIc LMP900 powered by a Lincoln V8 to a 5th place finish in LMP900. Melanie joined the regular team of Michael Lewis and Tomy Drissi for the 1000 mile race at Road Atlanta on October 18. The Petit Le Mans was the finale for the 2003 American Le Mans Series and was broadcast live on SPEED Channel.

"What a great experience it was to run an LMP900 at Road Atlanta!" said Paterson. "I have always wanted to step up to an LMP900, and this was a great chance. We stuck with our plan and had good reliability and consistency the whole race. The whole team was very helpful and Michael and Tomy were great to work and race with!"

This was Melanie^Ys debut race in an LMP900 car and, without the benefit of pre-event testing, the first time in the car was on Wednesday afternoon. She had this to say about her experience in an LMP900 vs LMP675:

"It was very different than an LMP675, but not in the ways which I expected," stated Paterson. "The power was not a surprise and there was more grip, although, there were huge differences with the carbon brakes and the g-forces acting on your body. My seat insert, which was fine for the 675, did not have enough lateral support and we had to make a new one after the first practice because I was moving around too much in the car. It was great to get into the race and get a good rhythm going -- I absolutely loved the car!"

Melanie is already looking forward to next season. "I have a lot of things to work on in the off season, and Sebring will be here before you know it! There are a number of new opportunities for me to evaluate and I am looking forward to being back in the American Le Mans Series in 2004."

-mp/dk-

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Tomy Drissi , Michael Lewis , Melanie Paterson