The team looks for a repeat of last year’s triple podium despite facing temperatures expecting to be in the 90s.
Braselton, Ga. (5 July 2022) – With a high-speed, high-commitment turn one, a pair of key braking areas into slower technical sections, a long back stretch, and one final fast corner making up every lap at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, the drivers and crew of Round 3 Racing (R3R)are eager to take to the track this weekend for the sixth event of the World Racing League powered by Hagerty (WRL) season.
The weekend will mark a double-header, with a nine hour race on tap for Saturday and followed by a seven-hour enduro to close out the weekend on Sunday.
Round 3 Racing (R3R) is going into the double-header weekend with the momentum coming off a second-place finish at Daytona International Speedway. Last year, the R3R No. 701 Porsche Cayman and the R3R No. 605 Porsche Boxster both scored podiums at the hilly circuit in rural Georgia, and the team will look for more this weekend.
No. 401 TEAM HAGERTY MOTORSPORTS BMW M4 GT4 (GTO)
The No. 401 Hagerty Motorsports team will take on the heat of Atlanta in the double-header weekend. Friday’s practice and qualifying session will be the first time the BMW has seen the esses or the fast downhill right-hander known as Turn 12, but the stout driver line up of Brad McCall, Sarah Montgomery, and Cole Loftsgard all have their share of laps at the track.
The three teamed up last season at Road Atlanta in the No. 702 Porsche Cayman and will look for a little bit of redemption as the 2021 visit ended early for McCall, Montgomery, and Loftsgard following an engine issue.
All three teammates enjoy the track; it’s hot and tough but fun to drive with the longer straightaways and fast corners. This one is close to home for Montgomery, who hails from Midtown, a suburb of Atlanta, just an hour southwest of the track. She has been maneuvering Road Atlanta since 2014, starting with Skip Barber. Montgomery has been behind the wheel of open-wheel cars, Porsche Caymans, BMW M4, and Mazda MX-5, to name a few.
“Road Atlanta is one of my favorite tracks,” said Montgomery. “I’m so excited to be back! This track is special for me because it’s so close to home, and I’ve been lucky to drive several different cars here. We have a real shot at getting a podium this weekend as my teammates, and I have been qualifying well and running up front for most of the races. The only trick this weekend is to try and stay cool in this heat!”
No. 609 TEAM SENTINEL BMW M4 GT4 (GTO)
The No. 609 Sentinel BMW will see race action at Road Atlanta for the first time this weekend. The team made up of James Candelaria, Brian Ghidinelli, and Ron Hugate will team up to battle a field of 65 cars through the esses and the quick turns of 10a and 10b. This weekend will be the first weekend the three have teamed together as they look to compete for a podium.
This season the team has competed in all five race weekends, with a best finish of second place at New Orleans Motorsports Park in February. The No. 609 has faced battles, including a motor blowing up while competing for a podium with just two hours remaining in the race. The Sentinel team is out for redemption.
“It’s been a while since I’ve raced Road Atlanta, but it is one of my favorites,” said Candelaria. “Road Atlanta has a little bit of everything; it really requires perfection and commitment to be fast through the downhill esses and Turn 12. It’s a fantastic racetrack. I’m looking forward to being back in the car; we have a stellar lineup with Ron Hugate, Brian Ghidinelli, and myself. We are looking to run out front.”
No. 701 TEAM COOPER TIRES PORSCHE CAYMAN (GP1)
The No. 701 Cooper Tires team is excited to return to Road Atlanta after the podium finish last year. The team overcame a few challenges from the previous year’s races, making the third-place finish even more satisfying. This year the team is made up of Mo Dadkhah, Loni Unser, and Zack Ping, ready to pick up where they left off last year.
Ping will enjoy the home turf advantage, having grown up just 30 minutes down the road. He has spent hours at the track driving various cars, including spec racer fords, DP02 prototypes, and Radical Cup cars.
Dadkhah and Unser, on the other hand, will return to the semi-familiar track ready for the challenging elevation. Unser will be coming off a Pikes Peak International Hill Climb run where she finished second. Dadkhah has competed at Road Atlanta twice before, both with Round 3 Racing.
“I’m excited to be back at Road Atlanta,” said Dadkhah. “I’ve been here two times prior with Round 3 Racing and we ended both years on the Podium! I love the elevation changes at Road Atlanta, it makes the track more challenging. There is also no room for error at this track. Turn 12 is one of the fastest corners here and if you go off track you’re hitting one of two cement barriers. Sadly, I am intimately aware of those barriers after being hit in turn 12 last year. We are going to try not to repeat that part of last year. We have a great car and I believe Zack, Loni and myself have a great chance at making the top step of the podium this year!”
No. 605 TEAM HAGERTY DRIVERS CLUB PORSCHE BOXSTER (GP3)
Dennis Neel, Carter Pease, Buz McCall, and Hannah Grisham are looking to repeat last year’s double victories at Road Atlanta. After starting on pole for both races last season, the team led the GP3 field to win. This season they have started on pole for the three races they have competed in and have brought home two podium finishes in that same time frame.
Grisham, originally from California, moved to Rome, Georgia in 2020, making Road Atlanta her home track. The young driver has tested many times at the raceway, but her first time racing the track was last year with R3R. Grisham was able to help bring home both wins last season with the team.
“I’m excited to be back at Road Atlanta, especially after last year’s double win,” said Grisham. “The No. 605 team has had a great season so far and coming off a second place finish at Daytona, I think we will be competing for the win again this year. Road Atlanta has more recently become a home track of mine, making it that much more special to get another set of wins this weekend!”
The Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta weekend will start on Friday, July 8, with practice and qualifying before heading into the double-header weekend on Saturday. Live streaming will be available on WRL’s Youtube or follow along on our social media channels.