On Thursday afternoon, Rennsport One’s Spencer Pumpelly won the overall pole for Friday’s BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona, the season opener for the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. Pumpelly’s lap of 115.136 seconds (111.312 mph) is the fastest CTSC lap of the weekend to this point.
Afterwards, Pumpelly attributed the team’s pace both this weekend and at the Roar to simple familarity.
“I think if you look around, there are a lot of teams with new equipment,” Pumpelly told Frontstretch after the session. “A lot of them haven’t had the time in the car hat [Rennsport One] has. I knew that Dillon [Machavern] was a good driver, but what really came across…was that he, Dylan Murcott and the rest of the engineers have done a really good job of moving this program forward. It really speaks volumes of him, the team and the engineering guys.”
Pumpelly’s lap, turned in right at the end of the session, was more than three-tenths of a second faster than Tyler McQuarrie for the new Carbahn Motorsports team. McQuarrie indicated to Frontstretch that he will be in the team’s No. 39 Audi R8 LMS GT4 for eight of the ten races in 2018.
Patrick Gallagher will start sixth, best of the three Multimatic Fords. Austin Cindric qualified seventh, followed by Daniel Morad in the second Rennsport One Porsche. Ty Majeski will start ninth, while Alexandre Prémat will start 10th.
In TCR, C360R’s dominance of the speed charts continued. Despite not setting a time all day on Wednesday due to issues under the hood, Kuno Wittmer put the No. 74 Audi on the class pole with a lap of 120.550 seconds (106.313 mph).
So far, Wittmer seems to really like the new Audi RS3 LMS Club Sport.
“I think it’s really good. It’s a very nice platform,” Wittmer told Frontstretch. “The fact that it is a global, homolgated platform, it brings a whole notch of touring car racing to another level.”
In Street Tuner, BimmerWorld Racing’s Devin Jones turned in the fastest lap of the weekend to claim the class pole in his BMW 328i. Jones’ lap of 124.217 seconds (103.174 mph) was two-tenths of a second faster than MINI JCW Team’s Nate Norenberg. Justin Piscitell qualified the No. 55 Murillo Racing Porsche Cayman third in class.
Don’t be surprised if the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge is not the only place you see Jones race this season. Last year, Jones skipped the Road America 120 to race in the XFINITY Series Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen for SS-Green Light Racing. After qualifying, Jones explained that he hopes to put together another XFINITY Series opportunity for later this season with VeriStor sponsorship. Nothing is signed as of yet, but he’s currently looking towards the Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Roval in September.
About the author
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.
Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.