IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Friday Notebook at Lime Rock
Friday, July 20, 2018

Pumpelly Takes Coveted Motul Pole Award at Lime Rock in Continental Tire Challenge

At a circuit famously known for its difficultly to pass, Spencer Pumpelly nabbed the coveted Motul Pole Award and will start first for Saturday’s IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Lime Rock Park 120.

Pumpelly’s time of 55.025 seconds (96.697 mph) in the No. 28 RS1 Porsche Cayman GT4 MR delivered the veteran’s third Grand Sport (GS) pole position of the year, as the team seeks its second win of 2018 after winning January’s BMW Endurance Challenge At Daytona.

“I think it is important (to be on the pole) here at Lime Rock Park because for one, it is hard to pass here,” said Pumpelly, who co-drives with Dillon Machavern. “We need to be in front to make our car go. We need to try and keep the car in the front and not get shuffled back…We have a lot of things in place and we just have to execute tomorrow. We had great fans today and I appreciate every time I get to come here. It just couldn’t be better.”

The No. 46 Team TGM Mercedes-AMG GT4 of Owen Trinkler and Hugh Plumb will start second, after the former posted a lap just .142 seconds shy of Pumpelly’s time.

In the TCR class for the first time this season, it will not be a Compass Racing Audi starting from the pole. Rather, it was Tom O’Gorman in the No. 12 eEuroparts.com Racing Audi RS3 LMS that took the top starting spot at the 1.55-mile circuit with a time of 55.747 seconds (95.445 mph).

Saturday’s race marks O’Gorman’s second start in the Continental Tire Challenge after competing at Watkins Glen International earlier this month with the Windsor, Conn.-based team alongside co-driver Kenton Koch.

“I am so glad to be on pole for these guys,” said O’Gorman. “It’s our first season in the series, second race with this car and it’s our home race, so to be on pole is super exciting. I can’t wait for tomorrow’s race.The key is now to just survive tomorrow’s opening stint and hand the car over to Kenton in good shape because we are definitely going to be elbows up out there tomorrow.”

Starting second in TCR – which will feature its biggest field of the season tomorrow – is the team that took the last four Motul Pole Awards, the No. 77 Compass Racing Audi of Britt Casey, Jr. and Tom Long.

For the fourth consecutive race, and for the fifth time in six 2018 races, it’ll be the No. 81 BimmerWorld Racing BMW 328i leading the Street Tuner (ST) class field to green. Nick Galante posted the fastest lap in qualifying at 59.543 seconds (89.360 mph) to earn his second Motul Pole Award of the year. Galante’s co-driver, Devin Jones, has won the other three for the team.

“The traffic tomorrow is going to be the main thing, but we have been running with these guys all season,” said Galante. “If we keep an eye on our mirrors and try to minimize the traffic, I think we can have a good race and pull out a win here. I haven’t had too much luck here at Lime Rock that last two years at all, but I think this could be the year here, especially in a BMW.”

The Lime Rock Park 120 is scheduled for Saturday at 11:10 a.m. ET and can be streamed live on IMSA.tv. For fans onsite, a hour-long pre-race grid walk is open to the public for photos with the cars and autographs from the drivers.

Lime Rock Park “Home Base” For Carpentier, eEuroparts.com Racing

While Ryan Briscoe is a relatively new resident of Connecticut there is probably no bigger advantage a team will enjoy this weekend than that of IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge team eEuroparts.com Racing and driver Lee Carpentier.

The Windsor, Conn.-based team's owner Matt Moran is a Lime Rock Drivers Club member and has a working relationship with the track, while Carpentier lives a mere five minutes from the circuit and worked at the track for over a decade at the Skip Barber Racing School and as an instructor at various local weekends.

“It’s always important to support local businesses and the track is certainly a local business,” said Moran. “Skip (Barber) and his crew have done a great job, Walter (Irvine), Ryan (McIntosh), all the way down, with certainly helping us out promote our business and we try to help them out and promote their business. It’s been a symbiotic relationship for us over the course of the last few years.”

eEuroparts.com Racing has a pair of Audi RS3 LMS TCR cars entered this weekend in the Continental Tire Challenge TCR class, with Carpentier and Kieron O'Rourke in the No. 10 entry and Kenton Koch and Tom O’Gorman in the No. 12.

Despite numerous starts at Lime Rock in other series, this will be the first IMSA start for eEuroparts.com Racing. Looking to podium in front of a large number of family, friends and guests, the team will lean on Carpentier, who may have more laps at Lime Rock that any other driver in the series as a former employee at the track.

“I haven’t worked for maybe two years for the track, but I still do some hot lap stuff for them” he said. “I do some instructing for their club. So being the home base for me, it provides enough driving throughout the year that I can stay on top of my game.”

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