No. 1018
October 16, 2019

About The UjianNasional


Author, commentator, influencer. "The Consigliere." Editor-in-Chief of

Peter DeLorenzo has been in and around the sport of racing since the age of ten. After a 22-year career in automotive marketing and advertising, where he worked on national campaigns as well as creating many motorsports campaigns for various clients, DeLorenzo established on June 1, 1999. Over the years DeLorenzo's commentaries on racing and the business of motorsports have resonated throughout the industry. Because of the burgeoning influence of those commentaries, DeLorenzo has directly consulted automotive clients on the fundamental direction and content of their motorsports programs. DeLorenzo is considered to be one of the most influential voices commenting on the sport today.

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By Peter M. DeLorenzo

Detroit. If you had a chance to see the Motul Petit Le Mans at the 2.54-mile Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta Saturday, you got to see major league sports car racing at its best. The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship continues to hone its standing in the motor racing world, and continues to deliver superb racing throughout all of its classes. (Well, almost all. The continued flogging of the LMP2 class to me is a gigantic waste of time. And when the only two cars in that class failed to finish Saturday's 10-hour race, it only served to underscore my disgust with IMSA's continued flogging of that dead horse. But I digress.)

It has been a long, hard road for IMSA to get where it is today. The buyout of IMSA by the France family and the blending of the old American Le Mans Series with the Grand-Am Series was a monumental undertaking that was touch and go from the start. Casual observers assumed that putting the two series together would be a "no-brainer" like flipping a giant switch, but that was far from the case. From confounding logistical issues to endless discussions about the various class rule packages, along with manufacturer input (aka whining) and most crucially - retaining old sponsors while cultivating new ones - putting the two series together was a minor miracle unto itself. 

There were many people involved on both sides of the equation, but one man stood out as the dedicated player who would not let sports car racing take a giant turn for the worse under his watch, and that was Scott Atherton. Scott and I have crossed paths on a number of occasions, and I was always impressed with his relentless dedication, focus and adherence to the Big Picture. And I still am. Yes, there have been other key players involved, including Jim France himself, who has done an outstanding job as well, by the way, but Scott was the guy who kept pushing and striving to help major league sports car racing in North America not only survive, but thrive. And Saturday's Motul Petit Le Mans, in IMSA's 50th Anniversary year, was the culmination of Atherton's efforts over the years, and a fitting tribute to him as he retires from his role as president of IMSA.

Atherton had his critics, but that was to be expected, especially since the din from the constant hand-wringing and whining in any major league racing series can be overwhelming. But make no mistake, Atherton did an outstanding job overall, and if you're a sports car racing enthusiast and love what you see in IMSA today, give a thought and a tip of the cap to the man largely responsible for it all.

And that's the High-Octane Truth for this week.


Riverside International Raceway, May 2, 1965. Ed Leslie, driving the No. 2 Shelby American Cobra, chases Ken Miles (No. 98 Shelby American Cobra) during a United States Road Racing Championship GT race. Miles won, followed by Scooter Patrick (No. 34 Porsche 904 GTS) and Bob Johnson (No. 97 Shelby American Cobra). Leslie did not finish the race.

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