Pumpelly Notches 2 top 10's in Monterey

MONTEREY, Calif. (May 3, 2016) – Spencer Pumpelly had two fast cars to work with at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. He translated that into top-10 finishes for Change Racing in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Rennsport One in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.
 
While the WeatherTech series features four different classes that generally race together, at the 2.238-mile, 11-turn Mazda Raceway, the four classes were split into two races, with the Prototypes and GTLM cars racing in the morning and the Prototype Challenge and GTD cars racing in the afternoon.
 
Pumpelly’s co-driver, Corey Lewis started the No. 16 Pertamina/Monster Energy Lamborghini Huracán GT3 sixth on the GTD grid. Pumpelly, Lewis and crew were feeling positive about the pace of the Lamborghini, but traffic made moving forward tricky.
 
“We had a pretty fast Lamborghini,” Pumpelly said. “Although, Corey found it difficult to pass given the current performance regulations that we have. He ended up getting stuck behind a slower car for the majority of his stint. The car was faster than sixth, but we couldn’t move forward.”
 
The two-hour race had only one full-course caution period, which came just in time for Change Racing to make their first stop and driver change. Lewis brought the No. 16 onto pit lane, but overshot the pit box. The crew quickly pushed him back, but it cost valuable time and when Pumpelly finally exited the pit box he was at the back of the GTD queue. Things got worse when the team was issued a drive-through penalty for too many people over the wall.
 
“An industry representative came over the wall during our stop,” Pumpelly explained. “That made it too many men over the wall. Unfortunately, we were penalized, but rules are rules so we served the drive-through.”
 
Despite the setback, Pumpelly was able to make progress through the GTD field and ultimately finished 10th.
 
“Our car was really fast,” he added. “I thought we had great race pace. It was a lot of fun to drive. The guys put in a great effort again and for the third race in-a-row we had a really strong race car, but our luck hasn’t taken a turn yet. We’re working as hard as we can to put everything together each race and I’m sure a good result is in the near future.”
 
A day earlier, Pumpelly shared the No. 17 Legistics/RS1/RickieFowler.com Porsche Cayman with Nick Galante in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race. After setting the quickest practice time of the weekend, the team was feeling confident heading into Saturday’s two-hour and 30-minute race, especially when other teams opted to qualify and start their pro drivers, putting them on a reverse strategy to RS1.
 
“Nick had a good start and picked up a couple spots,” Pumpelly explained. “The pace was oddly not as quick as we thought it would be though. When I got in, right out of the pits I noticed we had 90 percent rear brake and every time you hit the brake with any kind of pressure, the car wanted to spin out. Instead of being able to attack, we had to nurse the car around the track.”
 
Even with the brake issue, Pumpelly brought the No. 17 across the finish line in a strong sixth place. The finish banked more valuable points for Pumpelly and Galante who are tied for second in the ST Drivers’ Championship, as is RS1 in the ST Team Championship.
 
A replay of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will air on FS1, Sunday, May 8, at 8am ET.
 
Next up for Pumpelly is the lone temporary street circuit he will face this season: the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. The 100-minute WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race features only the Prototype, Prototype Challenge and GTD classes. 
 
“Detroit is a very bumpy circuit and very tight, so I’m not sure how the Lamborghini is going to respond to that,” Pumpelly said. “The car has been fantastic all year, so it shouldn’t be an exception. It’s going to be a shorter race, so if we avoid traffic, keep it off the walls and have a good pit stop, I think we’ll have a good shot at it.”
 
The Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix will air live on FS1 at 12:30pm ET, Saturday, June 4. 

RS1 photos by Sideline Sports Photography LLC // Change Racing photos by Austin Gager