Sean Rayhall took the checkered flag fifth in class following an eventful race for the Panoz DeltaWing Racing team. Despite extreme heat, with temperatures in the cockpit reaching 115°F, and two contacts with the #31 Action Express and then the #60 Michael Shank Racing cars, both Rayhall and Katherine Legge rebounded well with both climbing the leaderboard during their stints.
Rayhall started the race in sixth and despite the first lap incident whilst trying to go around the competition on the way into Turn One, he had reached fourth position by Lap 18.
At this point, Legge took over. The second incident occurred 15-minutes later which caused nose damage and for the team to have to pit on a short Full Course Yellow. This also meant the first of two drive-through penalties for the same incident. Once the penalties had been taken, Legge made it back up the leaderboard despite a fuel-saving strategy from 23rd to 16th putting the DeltaWing in a good position for Rayhall to return to the wheel when the final fuel stop was needed.
Rayhall returned one-hour 45-minutes into the race on Lap 49 and continued to climb the leaderboard driving the fastest lap of the race on Lap 52 with a 2:01.262. Rayhall took the checkered flag after 74 laps, fifth in class.
The team now return to Braselton to prepare for the final round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and their hometown race, Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta on Saturday 1 October.
“I’m really happy with today’s final result. We had a few mishaps that prevented us from fulfilling our full potential but I am really pleased with the way the team handled everything. For a track that is not best-suited to us, the team prepared a great car to race and I think we will only be better at Petit Le Mans in two-week’s time. I want to thank Don for the opportunity and hope we can finish out this year strong.”
“It was an eventful race. The team did a great job at salvaging a decent result. We had a comparable pace to most of our competitors which we take comfort from leading up to our final race in our hometown where we really want to finish the year on the podium.”
“Very proud of the entire team for a job well done all weekend and leading up to the race. We had a very balanced race car today. Unfortunately, we had a couple of incidents that caused us to spend extra time in the pits. Despite this we still carried on for a fifth-place finish. Tire degradation in the rear was a big issue which meant the drivers had to do a really good job of managing both the tires and the brakes. Overall I am fairly pleased with the result and looking forward to our last race, Petit Le Mans in two-week’s time.”