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Peter Portante writes this Blog for his fan's, sponsors and family. Peter Portante joins the SCCA Pro Racing Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires for their 2015 season racing for Atlanta Motorsports Group (AMG). Peter has graciously agreed to provide for us his thoughts after each round of this season’s championship. You can follow Peter’s racing exploits by bookmarking his website,, liking his Facebook Page, and following him on Twitter, @portante24.

There is a saying in racing, “You have no friends on track.” This is really as close to a utopian statement that can be made when people force you to use correct hash tags because it will further your career. The problem with this utopian idea is issues on-track will usually transfer off-track to the paddock. Everyone, or at least the people that care, are so massively invested in this sport, mentally and financially, because we are all “pro” drivers. Which is weird right? For all the investment you make, when something doesn’t go your way, especially when it isn’t your fault, you can’t just forget it when you take off your helmet.

NOLA was interesting. I say interesting because soggy – dark – sad – tiring and disappointing; a logistical nightmare with the worst parking situation since Black Friday fits it well. If on Black Friday you parked in a swamp, were then bussed twenty minutes to your store, and instead of everything being on sale it was marked up, you’d have an idea how things went. But wait; when you get back to your car it needs to get towed. But that’s OK because the lot has a convenient tow truck, but you have to pay the tow truck…so yea like that.

Besides all that, it was good.

After a disappointing weekend at Sebring, I was ready to get after it. Our Atlanta Motorsports Group where the only team that had never tested at NOLA, but it never went through our heads. We went out for our first test session and were fast right off the bat.

(Opening Day reference, see how well rounded I am?)

The biggest wrench thrown into the mix was the fact that it was going to pour all week long, so of course we ran all of zero sessions with rain tires on the car. Thank you Brick Tamlan and Ron Burgundy.

Over the course of practice, we found a couple issues with the car, but we got them all squared away for qualifying. As I headed out on track, I was ready to go get the pole position! But subconsciously I decided to brake obscenely early going into Turn 3. I lost so much time that I don’t even feel comfortable saying it to myself, so the hell if you think I’m going to tell you!

The end result would be a P6 starting position, but the car was fast and as long as the guy behind the wheel could still wheel it, we would be all set for the race.

The race went green, and I went straight to the lead! Well, actually, first I got frisky with the back of John Dean’s car, but went in too deep, then…I went into the lead. I did my best to break the draft only to be pushed off the track later that lap. As I came back on the track, I let a car get by as I was still coming up to speed. Unfortunately, he jumped an apex curb and drove into my door and spun me around. Thankfully, a full-course caution came out, and I would restart from the back of the lead lap. I did my best Tom Cruise impression and skirted the outside wall until I was back up to P7 on the front straight.

It was some of the best damn flying I had ever accomplished right up until I nearly got myself killed, when a driver went from the inside of the track, all the way to the outside of the track and drove me straight into the outside wall. I then drove the rest of the race with a wheel wonkier than your lunch lady’s eye and a sub-frame as straight as Boy George.

Race Two would be started in the damp but we’d be on slick tires. We had done as much repair work as we could. But there was only so much we could do. When the race started, I made my way towards the front, this time at a much slower pace, just waiting for the right time to pounce. I tried to work with people, but to no avail. I was pushed off track, again. I fought my way back through the field to get up to P5, but I just didn’t have enough time to catch the leaders.

I know I should say I’m happy with 5th but I am here to win, and I will! I have to wait another two weeks before we get after it again at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Going to put on a Tom Brady-Esque comeback… dear God, I hope I don’t play the Giants!

Race One saw Peter bring the Intercity Lines –LinktoEXPERT-Spargo Construction #24 to a solid 12th place finish. In Race Two with added track and car time Peter drove to 5th Place - His top finish of the season to date.


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