Prototype Challenge Road Atlanta Wednesday Notebook
Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The final round of IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda competition kicked off Wednesday afternoon with a 30-minute practice session following pre-event testing at Road Atlanta in support of the Motul Petit Le Mans featuring the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

A renowned event, the Motul Petit Le Mans weekend has been highly anticipated by Prototype Challenge competitors, due to the tight championship battles in play as well as the fact that the cars haven’t turned a lap since Trois-Rivieres in August.

And while Kyle Masson in the No. 18 MPC entry for Performance Tech Motorsports, and Naj Husain in the No. 3 LMP3 Masters entry for Extreme Speed Motorsports/Cloudistics have already clinched their class championships, there are more points on the line and two more championships that have yet to be decided.

In LMP3, despite an 18-point deficit in class, Kenton Koch in the No. 8 Ligier JS P3 entry for P1 Motorsports proved he is still in the hunt, leading the 25-car field in practice with a lap of one minute, 19.103 seconds around the 2.54-mile Road Atlanta road course.

However, the championship points leader Colin Thompson in the No. 14 Norma M30 entry for Kelly-Moss Motorsports also ran a quick session, ending up just a few hundredths behind Koch with a lap of 1:19.160, dialing up the championship drama as the teams head into a full day of practice, qualifying and Race 1 Thursday.

Robby Foley rounded out the top three in LMP3 for P1 Motorsports in the No. 17 Ligier JS P3. This is only his third race with the series, having run at Watkins Glen International and Lime Rock earlier in the season.

In his first event with the series, driver Tony Ave traded seats with series regular Paul Fix in the No. 44 Ave-Riley AR2 chassis for Ave Motorsports/Stop Flex and clocked a lap of 1:20.509 to capture fourth in class.

As per usual, Masson muscled his NeuroSpine Institute entry through the LMP3 competition to put his prototype into the top five as the checkered flag signaled the end of the session, running a lap of 1:20.809, powered by his Mazda 2.0-liter MZR engine.

Following in Masson’s tracks was Husain, who finished the day in sixth position, just behind the younger Masson in his LMP3 entry. Both Masson and Husain clinched their respective class championships earlier this season at Trois-Rivieres.

And while the younger Masson has already collected two IMSA series championships this season, the second in the Prototype Challenge Class for the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the senior Masson, his father Robert, is still in the MPC Masters hunt in his No. 11 entry for Performance Tech Motorsports/Global Microsurgical Center and ended the day just four spots behind his son.

All competitors will begin their day Thursday with a 40-minute practice session in the morning, followed by a midday 20-minute qualifying session and culminate their day with the first of two 45-minute races to determine who will take home the series championships for 2017.

Live timing, scoring and race coverage will be available on IMSA.tv, and a delayed broadcast of the races will be shown on FS2 Thursday, Oct. 26, at 8 p.m. ET.  The broadcast will also be available on YouTube 24 hours after it airs on television. 

For more information on all IMSA competition, or to access IMSA Radio, which will have live streaming audio of both races, visit IMSA.com.

For more information about the IMSA Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda series, visit www.imsa.com, follow hashtag #IMSAPC @IMSA on Twitter or IMSA on Facebook.

Schedule (All Times ET):

Practice: 8-8:40 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 5

Qualifying: 12:30-12:50 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 5

Race 1: 4:35-5:20 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 5

Race 2: 9:25-10:10 a.m., Friday, Oct. 6

Race Coverage: 

Live Streaming: The race will be livestreamed at IMSA.tv. 

Live timing: All on-track sessions at scoring.imsa.com and on the official IMSA app for iOS, Android and Windows

Twitter: Live text commentary from all sessions at @IMSALive

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