Pumpelly Takes Commanding Road America Win

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Aug. 9, 2016) – Spencer Pumpelly earned his second win of the 2016 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (CTSCC) season in dominant fashion at Road America. His race in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship (WTSCC), sadly, was not as fruitful.
 
Rennsport One teammate Nick Galante qualified the No. 17 Legistics/RS1/RickiFowler.com Porsche Cayman eighth on the ST grid for Saturday’s CTSCC race. Galante was hit and spun early in the race, but kept a cool head and got the Cayman back on track quickly.
 
The contact had the No. 17 nearly half a lap behind the ST pack when Galante accrued his minimum drive time and the team elected to pit and put Pumpelly in.
 
“We made the decision, since we were already in the back, to come down pit road, do the driver change, get some fuel and do right-side tires only and went back out at the tail end of the field,” Pumpelly explained. “The beauty of that was, when the pit window opened for everybody, we only had to do left-side tires and a little bit of fuel, everyone else had to do full fuel, full tires and a driver change.”
 
The team’s second pit stop was also well timed. Pumpelly was one of the first to hit pit lane when the fuel window opened. As he did so, another full-course caution was issued, which meant shortly after Pumpelly caught the back of the pack, nearly everyone headed onto pit lane, cycling him toward the front.
 
There were still two cars ahead of the Cayman when the race returned to green. Pumpelly knew those leaders were gambling on fuel, but powered past them anyway. When they did pit, his lead expanded comfortably. From there it was clear sailing to the checkered flag with a victory margin of more than 10 seconds.
 
“When I finally get clear of everyone in clean air, our car was really good and we were able to open a gap and cruise home at the end. It was an easy run after that because the RS1 guys put together such a great car.”
 
The win strengthens Pumpelly and Galante’s lead in the ST Championship to 14 points with three races remaining.
 
RS1’s win at Road America will air on FOX Sports 1, Sunday, August 14, at 11am ET.
 
Pumpelly’s weekend with Change Racing in the No. 16 Pertamina/Monster Energy Lamborghini Huracán GT3 started out strong, with the team turning the fastest lap in practice on Friday. Unfortunately, the team’s pace took a turn in the wrong direction as the race approached.
 
“On Friday, we were really quick and set the fastest lap of the day,” Pumpelly said. “The car felt really good. The next day we noticed it was a little slower. We couldn’t quite make the same grip we had and it seemed to get worse.”
 
The start of Sunday’s WTSCC race was eerily similar to Saturday’s, with contact spinning Pumpelly around. He was able to get going and charge back through the GTD field, only to experience the same drop-off in pace the team was experiencing the day before.
 
“Corey [Lewis] got in after me and did the best he could with it,” Pumpelly said. “The Change Racing guys had a never say die attitude and we put everything we could into it, but unfortunately, something was wrong. We’re not sure if it was from the contact at the start of the race or something else. We’re going to take the car apart and inspect every inch of it to make sure we don’t have any weekends like this again.”
 
A 14-place finish definitely wasn’t what Change Racing had in mind for a race in front of sponsor Orion Lighting, which is based not far from Road America.
 
“It’s unfortunate because we had such great guests from Orion Lighting,” lamented Pumpelly. “We got to tour their factory on Tuesday and had a really good time. All the guests that came out were really supportive of us and we wanted to have a better result for them. We’ll have to regroup and figure out what we’re missing. I’m confident the Change Racing guys will figure it out.”
 
Pumpelly has a quick turnaround before jumping into another race car. He’ll rejoin RealTime Acura at the Utah Motorsport Campus outside of Salt Lake City for the latest round of the Pirelli World Challenge. Saturday and Sunday’s races will be streamed live on www.world-challenge.com.
 

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