Pumpelly Back to Winning Ways in ALMS
LAKEVILLE, Conn. (July 8, 2013) – Spencer Pumpelly returned to the top step of the podium in the American Le Mans Series Saturday at Lime Rock Park, earning his first GTC win with Flying Lizard Motorsports.
The 1.474-mile road course in rural Connecticut appeared to be made for Pumpelly, who scored the GTC pole position on Friday. The 55.155-second (96.209 mph) lap came early in the session allowing Pumpelly to pull the No. 45 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup into pit lane and wait to see if any challengers could match his time. None could, and Pumpelly scored his second-career ALMS pole position and first with Flying Lizard Motorsports.
On Saturday, he handed the steering wheel over to co-driver Nelson Canache to start the two hour and 45 minute race. The Venezuelan put in a strong opening stint, hanging on to the lead early before relinquishing the top spot to the Lizards’ sister car.
When the time came for pit stops, Canache pitted from second and handed the car over to Pumpelly. The Flying Lizard crew executed a flawless pit stop, but came out of the pits behind the No. 22 Alex Job Racing entry. That car was quickly handed a penalty for exiting the pit box with equipment attached. The penalty gave Pumpelly a comfortable gap over Jeroen Bleekemolen in the No. 22.
“Nelson led good chunk of opening stint until the sister Lizard car passed him,” Pumpelly recalled. “When we did the pit stop, we beat the 22 out of pit lane, but as I went down pit lane, he came flying by me. He got a pit lane speed penalty, so that gave us a couple seconds and we just maintained that gap.”
The closing moments of the GTC race appeared as though it would come down to a battle of fuel conservation, but with less than 15 minutes remaining in the race, the No. 22 was the victim of a spinning Ferrari in the uphill chicane. When the race resumed for the final four minutes of green flag racing, Pumpelly cruised to his fifth-career ALMS win, his first with Flying Lizard Motorsports.
“We got the win today for several reasons,” Pumpelly said. “The Flying Lizard guys did a lot of work over the Le Mans break getting a better understanding of this car and it showed today. We had a perfect race car today. Pit stops were great and the strategy was perfect.
“Nelson Canache did such a great job in his opening stint, it really made my life easy. The heat was the only thing I really had to deal with. A big thanks to the guys at Lizards and an excellent job by Nelson Canache.
“I feel bad for Alex Job Racing and Jeroen. We were racing the entire time and it would have been good to take it to the end. We’re really happy with the win though and it was a good points day for us as well.”
Indeed, Pumpelly and Canache are now just a single point out of first place in the GTC driver standings. Flying Lizard Motorsports is also one point out of the lead in the team standings.
Pumpelly is back on track and back with Flying Lizards Motorsports in two weeks’ time at the Mobil 1 Presents the Grand Prix of Mosport. The race begins at noon ET on Sunday, July 21, and will air the same day on ESPN2.
Spencer Pumpelly PR