With the Masters’ US season finally in full swing, John Reisman and the Italo-American duo of Francesco Melandri/Hanna Zellers overcame the unfavorable conditions at the 2020 HSR Fall Historics to take victory each in the two Masters Endurance Legends USA races at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
Qualifying – Porter Secures Pole for Masters Endurance Legends USA at Road Atlanta
The racer that secured three consecutive Petit Le Mans pole positions from 2009 to 2011 repeated its dominance in 2020, as David Porter paced qualifying for the two Masters Endurance Legends USA races at the Petit Le Mans home of Road Atlanta. The Peugeot 908 HDi FAP set its pole time of 1.14.163 in the first ten minutes of the 40-minute session.
John Reisman’s Coyote Corvette DP was initially 2.7 slower than the Peugeot, but he was able to narrow the gap to only 1.2 seconds around halfway through to take second. Third was Travis Engen in his 2005 Audi R8 LMP1 who was two seconds behind Reisman in his Audi R8 LMP1 but was still ahead of Bob Blain in the ex-ESM HPD-Honda ARX-03b.
The Coyote Corvette DP driven by Robert Tornello came next, the Ligier LMP3 with Francesco Melandri and Hanna Zellers following closely. Despite the initial battery issue that delayed Brad Hoyt during the morning practice at the HSR Fall Historics, he claimed 7th position in his Elan DP-02.
The GT pole was claimed by Scooter Gabel in his ex-PTG BMW E36 M3, with Carlos de Quesada driving his ex-Konrad Porsche 993 GT2 Evo coming close in second. David Roberts in the ex-APR Audi R8 LMS secured the third position, and Don Ondrejcak’s in the ex-TRG Porsche 997 GT3 fourth.
Reisman Speeds to Victory in First Masters Endurance Legends USA Race
Despite being besieged by rain, John Reisman had an almost perfect race and went on to win the first Masters Endurance Legends USA race of the HSR Fall Historics event at Road Atlanta. Reisman’s Coyote Corvette DP was ahead of the Hanna Zellers/Francesco Melandri Ligier LMP3 by a full lap.
The Coyote Corvette DP driver momentarily lost the lead when he had an early mandatory pit stop around halfway into the race. Upon returning to the track, however, Reisman regained his lead and even set the fastest lap of 1.28.971.
The ex-PTG BMW E36 M3 under Scooter Gabel/Carlos de Quesada found their way to third and a GT class win, a lap ahead of Don Ondrejcak’s ex-TRG Porsche 997 GT3 Grand-Am.
A major threat to Reisman’s dominance was the other Coyote Corvette DP under Robert Tornello, but unfortunately, he spun off at lap 2, and although he managed to keep on going, he ended the race six laps down.
Zeller Victorious in Second Masters Endurance Legends USA Race at Road Atlanta
On the second Master’s Endurance Legends USA race at Road Atlanta, Hanna Zellers took the spoils.
It was another day deluged by rain, but Zellers was able to guide the Ligier LMP3 to victory.
The race was shortened to only 30 minutes and John Reisman was leading during almost the whole race when his ex-Whelen Coyote Corvette DP’s gearbox packed up and grounded to a halt. Reisman had just made the fastest lap at 1.33.177 and was a full lap ahead when disaster struck, handing the unexpected win to Zellers.
On November 4th-8th, the Masters USA Tour will be in Florida as Masters Endurance Legends join the HSR Daytona Classic 24 Hours. They will then conclude the season with the HSR Sebring Historics on December 2nd-6th.