Race Weekend Central

Rennsport One Claims Sebring GT World Challenge Sweep

Rennsport One’s Spencer Pumpelly ran down Wright Motorsports’ Adam Adelson and took the overall lead Sunday (May 5) with 25 minutes to go in turn 1. From there, Pumpelly pulled away to win Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS Race No. 2 at Sebring International Speedway, clinching the weekend sweep with Trent Hindman.

The Rennsport One team skipped Sonoma and seemingly had no plans to compete in the series this year as of Daytona. However, this No. 85 Porsche plans to run for the rest of the year. They could be a tough out.

“When is Spencer [Pumpelly] not the right call [to have as a teammate]?,” Hindman stated when asked about Pumpelly after the race. “His track record speaks for itself. It was an absolute pleasure.”

The margin of victory was 7.648 seconds over Adelson and Elliott Skeer. ST Racing’s Bill Auberlen and Varun Choksey was third, followed by Turner Motorsport’s Robby Foley and Justin Rothberg. CrowdStrike Racing by Riley’s Colin Braun and George Kurtz were fifth. The top three finishers were in the Pro class.

ST Racing’s Neil Verhagen started from pole in his BMW with Skeer giving chase. The Porsche driver was able to keep up with the BMW factory driver in the early laps. However, the gap began to widen.

Verhagen was pulling away from the field when he was issued a drive-through penalty 17 minutes into the race. The SRO America officials felt that Verhagen had “slowed significantly” inside of the start zone. Serving the penalty dropped Verhagen down to 11th overall. Foley claimed the overall lead as a result.

In the Pro class, Skeer started from the class pole in second and had a couple of Pro-Am cars between himself and Hindman. Early on, Skeer’s primary worry was Foley in the Turner BMW, who was right on his tail.

Foley was able to take second away 15 minutes into the race. After Verhagen was penalized, Foley ended up in the overall lead.

Shortly after the mid-race pit stops, Adelson was able to take the overall lead away from Rothberg. Meanwhile, Pumpelly was on the move in his Porsche.

Rennsport One was one of the first teams to make their mandatory stop, meaning that Pumpelly had a little extra time to put heat into his tires. He was able to drive up to second overall within a couple of laps.

A few laps later, Pumpelly was able to run down Adelson for the overall lead. The battle did not take long as Pumpelly was able to make the move for the lead in turn 1.

From there, Pumpelly drove off into the distance in his multi-colored Porsche. He was never seriously challenged en route to the weekend sweep.

Despite losing the overall lead after the mid-race stops, Rothberg ended up in a big duel for the Pro-Am lead and third overall with Kurtz. Kurtz did everything that he could to get past, but ended up slowing his pace as well. That brought DXDT Racing’s Scott Smithson and ST Racing’s Samantha Tan into the mix.

Smithson was almost up to Kurtz’s rear bumper when he spun his Corvette exiting turn 5. That took the Corvette completely out of the hunt, but the race was still better for DXDT Racing after Saturday’s DNF.

See also
Trent Hindman, Spencer Pumpelly Win GT World Challenge Sebring Race No. 1

Any change for Regulator Racing’s alternate driver strategy working ended with 22 minutes to go when Racers Edge Motorsports’ Luca Mars got loose exiting turn 5 and dropped a wheel. Philip Ellis was left with nowhere to go but directly into the back of Mars.

The contact resulted in significant damage to the front end of Ellis’ Mercedes. He had to make an emergency pit stop for repairs. A second stop to fix the repairs hurt them even more.

Ultimately, Tan caught Kurtz and put the pressure on the CrowdStrike Mercedes. That was just enough for Rothberg to hold on for the win for himself and Foley. It is Rothberg’s first career SRO America victory in any class.

Foley and Rothberg’s margin of victory was .833 seconds over Braun and Kurtz. Tan and Verhagen had to settle for third in class after the early penalty, while GMG Racing’s Tom Sargent and Kyle Washington were fourth. Chouest-Povoledo Racing’s Ross Chouest and Aaron Povoledo were fifth.

Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS teams get next weekend off before traveling to Texas for their third race weekend of the season. Race No. 1 from Circuit of the Americas is scheduled for May 18 at 1:30 p.m. ET.

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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