Team Hardpoint’s Spencer Pumpelly was fastest overall in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge testing Sunday (Jan. 5). The veteran racer turned in a lap at 112.862 mph Sunday morning to lead the way in his Audi R8 LMS GT4.
Session No. 5
In addition to topping the entire weekend, Pumpelly’s lap was the quickest lap in Session No. 5. Pumpelly’s lap was three-eighths of a second faster than Archangel Motorsports’ Trent Hindman in the VOLT Porsche. Murillo Racing’s Eric Foss was third in his Mercedes, followed by Multimatic Motorsports’ Austin Cindric. Riley Motorsports’ Dylan Murry was fifth fastest.
2019 Pirelli GT4 America Sprint Am champion Drew Staveley was sixth quickest in the Ian Lacy Racing Ford, while Carbahn with Peregine Racing’s Jeff Westphal was seventh. Winward Racing/HTP Motorsport’s Russell Ward was eighth, while Scott Maxwell and McCann Racing’s Britt Casey Jr. were ninth and 10th.
Bryan Herta Autosport’s Gabby Chaves was fastest in TCR with a lap at 107.497 mph, the fastest TCR lap of the whole weekend. Chaves’ lap was seven-tenths of a second faster than the Audi of Alexandre Premat. KMW Motorsports with TMR Engineering’s Tim Lewis Jr. was third quickest in his Alfa Romeo, while Forty7 Motorsports’ Hyundais of Dario Cangialosi and Alexandre Papadopoulos were fourth and fifth.
Session No. 6
In the final Michelin Pilot Challenge session of the weekend, Multimatic Motorsports’ Sebastian Priaulx was fastest overall with a lap at 112.208 mph. That lap was seven-hundredths of a second quicker than Foss. BimmerWorld Racing’s Devin Jones was third fastest in his BMW, then BGB Motorsports’ Jan Heylen and Rebel Rock Racing’s Robin Liddell.
Justin Piscitell was sixth in the second Murillo Racing Mercedes, with Hindman close behind. Fast Track Racing’s Toby Grahovec was eighth fastest, while Turner Motorsport’s Aurora Straus and Team TGM’s Hugh Plumb rounded out the top 10.
TCR was topped by JDC-Miller MotorSports’ Stephen Simpson with a lap at 106.937 mph, good for 22nd overall. Simpson’s lap was one-third of a second faster than Roadshagger Racing’s Jon Morley. Roy Block was third quickest in the Alfa Romeo, while AJ Muss was fourth in the No. 74 Hyundai for Forty7 Motorsports. Stephen Vajda was fifth for Team Premat.
Given that this was the final session of the weekend, a number of teams chose to pack up and make the haul back to their shops early. Only 29 of the 38 teams participated in the final session.
In Grand Sport, the top three times of the weekend (Pumpelly, Hindman and Foss) were turned in during Session No. 5 Sunday morning. Winward Racing/HTP Motorsport’s Indy Dontje‘s quick lap from Friday held up as the fourth fastest lap of the weekend, while Cindric’s lap from Sunday morning was fifth. Aside from Dontje’s lap, the top 26 drivers turned in their best laps on Sunday. 22 of those drivers were within a second of Pumpelly’s best time. Those drivers included Multimatic Motorsports teammates Chase Briscoe and Hailie Deegan, along with W Series racer Beitske Visser.
Chaves’ lap in Session No. 5 ended up being five-eighths of a second faster than anyone else all weekend. Simpson had the second best time, followed by Premat, Block and Morley.
Practice for the BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 12:30 p.m. Frontstretch will be there to bring you all the coverage live from Daytona International Speedway.
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.
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