A promising race weekend for JR III Racing came to an early end on Sunday, after the No. 3 Jr. III Racing Copps Industries Ligier was collected in an early incident at Virginia International Raceway (VIR).
The hard work and preparation by team and drivers didn’t net the hoped for result as the early end to the IMSA Prototype Challenge race saw the team classified 14th at the finish.
The father-son driving duo of Greg and Eric Palmer hoped to utilize track time at the scenic 3.27-mile circuit to prepare for Sunday’s race. Unfortunately, the dark skies opened just in time for the first practice session on Friday.
With heavy rains coming into the area, the Palmers were only able to get four laps in before making the call to sit out for the remaining time. A dry second practice session allowed Eric Palmer to clock in 13 laps.
Due to an incident in another series that required extensive track repairs, Saturday’s 15-minute qualifying session was canceled. The field was set by championship points and with the team’s successful start to the season, the No. 3 Ligier was slotted on the fourth row for the one hour, 45-minute hour race.
With sunshine and no rain in sight, Greg Palmer geared up to start the one hour, 45-minute race. Palmer took the green flag and fought hard in the shuffle of the opening lap. Settling into the top 10, Palmer battled back and forth through several on track battles through the beginning of his stint.
It was on lap six when a competitor spun heading into turn one, collecting the Copps Industries Ligier after Palmer had nowhere to go. With damage to the cooling system and a cut water line, the No. 3 was forced to retire early.
"It was an unfortunate end to our weekend at VIR," said Greg Palmer. "Eric (Palmer) and I felt confident in the car and we hoped to have our best finish yet. Our day ended early when we were collected in someone else’s incident. We will learn from this and make the most of the next time we are able to get into the No. 3 Copps Industries Ligier."
"With two short practice sessions, no qualifying and an early retirement, it was a tough weekend overall for us," said Team Principal, Billy Glavin. "It is a tough pill to swallow, but we will use what we learned here this weekend to start off strong at Mid-Ohio and will fight on."
Jr III Racing will return to IMSA Prototype Challenge competition at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course September 25-27th.