Pumpelly Back in Victory Lane at Watkins Glen

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (July 5, 2016) – Spencer Pumpelly returned to the top step of the podium for the first time this year, taking the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (CTSC) win at Watkins Glen International. His WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (WTSC) race the following day was not as fruitful. He and Co-driver Corey Lewis would end up in ninth position.
 
In a challenging CTSC qualifying session that went from wet to dry, RS1 opted to put slick tires on their Porsche Caymans. The team was unable to capitalize on the drying circuit and qualified near the back of the field.
 
Teammate Nick Galante started the No. 17 Legistics/RS1/RickiFowler.com Porsche Cayman and immediately picked up several positions after a multi-car crash on the opening lap. From there he continued to pick up spots left and right and was able to hand the car over to Pumpelly in a position to win.  

“Despite our qualifying miscue, Nick did a fantastic job,” Pumpelly said. “Before the second yellow, he was holding pace and I got a bit worried, but he kept saying ‘no, it just hasn’t shaken out yet,’ and sure enough, we went green and every lap I looked it was one, sometimes two spots a lap. I think he brought the car to me in fourth and we picked up a spot in the pits with the guys doing a really fast stop. I was able to run down the leaders and get by.”
 
Pumpelly took over the lead with an hour remaining in the race and held on all the way to the finish. It’s the team’s second podium of the year, but first win.
 
“I think the biggest thing is last year, at this point, we had one win, but we were probably 10th in points,” commented Pumpelly. “Whereas now, I think as a team everyone has really improved and we come here, get our first victory, and are leading the points now. It feels good to come here, be able to win, and have the points moving forward.”
 
“Forward” is only two days away, with the next CTSC event at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, July 7 – 9. Pumpelly and RS1 are the defending ST winners there, but that necessarily make the No. 17 a favorite to win.
 
“There are a lot of strong ST cars that didn’t make it to the finish today,” Pumpelly explained. “The Hondas, some Mazdas and Caymans got caught up in that first-lap crash. It wasn’t as tough today as it’s going to be next week in Canada and we know that. Certainly, our confidence in the car and the Continental Tires and the work of the crew has us feeling pretty positive about our chances though.”
 
Pumpelly’s WTSC race with Change Racing on Sunday was not as fruitful.
 
Teammate Corey Lewis put the No. 16 Pertamina/Monster Energy Lamborghini Huracán GT3 sixth on the GTD class grid for the six-hour race. Lewis kept pace with the highly competitive field and handed it over to Pumpelly who was able to mix it up in the top three.
 
During Pumpelly second stint, however, the car suffered a failure, forcing the team to bring the Lamborghini back to the paddock for repairs.
 
“Corey did an awesome job,” Pumpelly said. “Our pace was good and the car felt great but with the competition being as tight as it is any hiccup can take you out of contention for a win. The Change Racing team put in another great effort.”
 
The Change Racing Lamborghini Huracán GT3 will be back on track at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, July 8 – 10.  
 
You can watch a replay of Pumpelly’s CTSC win at Watkins Glen on FOX Sports 1, Sunday, July 10, at 9am ET, right before live coverage of the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park at 11am ET.
 

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