Big Points Weekend for Pumpelly in Canada

BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada (July 11, 2016) – Spencer Pumpelly and Change Racing earned their best WeatherTech SportsCar Championship finish of the season at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park over the weekend. His efforts with Rennsport One brought home another podium finish and extended its lead in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.
 
Pumpelly and teammate Corey Lewis scored a top-five finish in the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix. Driving the No. 16 Pertamina/Monster Energy Lamborghini Huracán GT3, Pumpelly qualified the car third on the GTD grid. He held onto that spot until it was time to hand the car over to Lewis.
 
Pumpelly’s teammate was able to push even further up the order to second, but as the two-hour and 40-minute race played out, the full-course caution periods were not falling in the team’s favor with its reverse-strategy of putting Pumpelly in the car to open and close, and Lewis taking the middle stint.


 
“We had our hand forced by some of the yellows when they came out,” Pumpelly explained. “As a result we weren’t able to pit when some of the leaders did and had a green-flag pit stop at the end. That moved us back down to ninth or so.”
 
Back in the car, Pumpelly was able to move up to fifth and was hunting down fourth place with three laps to go. Unfortunately, a crash in Turn One brought out one last full-course yellow and the race ended behind the safety car. It was a fifth-place day for Pumpelly, Lewis and Change Racing.
 
“I thought we had a pretty good car and our crew was spot on,” Pumpelly said. “Our pit work was great. Strategy wise, there’s always going to be some gambling, because you never know when the yellows are going to fall and it has a huge effect on how you run the race. It didn’t fall the way we wanted it to. It didn’t kill our hopes, but it took away a shot at the podium. It was an awesome job by everyone at Change. The car was fast, especially on old tires and we did everything right.”
 
The day before, in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, Pumpelly and co-driver Nick Galante did make it to the podium and extended their point lead in the ST category.
 
Galante qualified the No. 17 Legistics/RS1/RickiFowler.com Porsche Cayman in 13th and handed the car over to Pumpelly in 10th. A great pitstop by RS1 put Pumpelly in a prime spot to chase down the leaders. Lucky for them, the job was made easier when a full-course caution bunch the field up.
 
On the restart, Pumpelly charged through the field and in the closing moments of the race it became a four-way battle for the lead between Pumpelly, Ryan Eversley’s Honda Civic, Eric Foss’ Porsche Cayman and Owen Trinkler’s Nissan Altima.
“In the process of Trinkler and Foss battling, I was able to get through and move into second,” Pumpelly recalled. “Eversley slid wide going into Turn Five and I was able to move by him for the lead. I had the lead with a few laps to go, but I couldn’t shake Trinkler. Going into Turn Five, I had a little bit of rear lock-up. I went just a touch wide and got into some water that had been put on the track by a previous crash that hit the tires and the tires were filled with rain water.  The Nissan got by and with the remaining time left I just couldn’t find another way through.”
 
Nobody at RS1 is disappointed with second-place, since it further secures its position at the top of the ST class standings. Pumpelly and team now have a 14-point lead at the half-way point of the season after scoring their third podium of the year.
 
“Last year, we had a lot of wins, but not a lot of success in the points championship,” Pumpelly explained. “This year we’re completely focused on getting good, solid finishes and keeping the car toward the front. Any podium from here on out we’ll be happy to take.”
 
Pumpelly can also look back with a smile on an epic and clean battle for the lead with a strong group of drivers.
 
“It was a scrap,” grinned Pumpelly. “I owe Eric Foss a big thank you. I got in a little early in Turn Three and I slid up into what was his part of the race track. He was heads up, saw me about to hit him, moved wide and saved us both. It was a battle to see who could keep the car on the track with the water in Turn Five and the ABS condition we get into there. Foss slide wide there, Eversley slid wide there and I slid wide there. The Nissan is strong in certain areas that we aren’t. Unfortunately, where we were strong there was a yellow flag for the last five laps or so. That eliminated it as an opportunity. I’m not going to forget that race anytime soon. I can’t wait to see that TV broadcast!
 
The Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race from Canadian Tire Motorsport Park will air on FOX Sports 1, Sunday, July 17, at 1pm ET.
 
Pumpelly has a week off before hitting the track again at Lime Rock Park, July 22 – 23, for both the WeatherTech and Continental Tire series.

 

 

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