There’s a lot of buzz about this week’s Petit LeMans at Road Atlanta. It’s the season finale for the IMSA WeatherTech Championship, and the event really ends up being my home race for the year since the Prototypes don’t run at VIR.

Global Mazda MX-5 Cup teams in pit lane.

It’s neat being here at Road Atlanta for the promoter test day and seeing all the support series testing, specifically the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Series because of its significance for me personally. I won the National Championship in that series in 2005, at this track and as a support race for Petit LeMans.

That was a defining moment of my career, and it’s neat to come back to see the event over ten years later. I’m still in a driving role, but in one that I couldn’t even fathom at the time! I was a fan of the premier series of sports car racing then, and to now be in the premier race with IMSA, let alone the premier class, was something I couldn’t imagine back in 2005. To watch all of these MX-5 Cup drivers bringing their best is exciting, knowing that they are racing for that same opportunity in their future driving careers.

This year is also special for me because it’s going to be the last race for the Lola chassis that Mazda Motorsports has been campaigning for the past several years. We have reached a lot of milestones with that platform, and we’ve had incredible technical support from our partner MultiMatic. Not only is it Mazda’s last race with that chassis, but it’s the last IMSA race ever for a Lola. With Lola being such an iconic chassis builder in sports car racing, it’s an honor to be able to carry the Lola banner in its final race.

A Lola in 1971...

A Lola in 1971…

...and today!

…and today!

Of course, I’m excited to hear more about Mazda’s plans for 2017. They’ll be announcing their 2017 Prototype plans in the near future, and you can read more about it, and our final race with the Lola-Mazda chassis, here.

If you want to follow the race this weekend, TV coverage starts at 11am ET Saturday on FS1. You can see our week’s schedule, including full broadcast information, on IMSA’s Petit LeMans page. I hope to have a good report next week!