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Apr 22, 2013 - 05:32 PM
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Long Beach Podium For Pumpelly
Posted by: newsla on Apr 22, 2013 - 05:26 PM
American Le Mans Series News
Long Beach Podium For Pumpelly


A late-race charge from Spencer Pumpelly came up just 2.130 seconds short of a win at the Grand Prix of Long Beach, but resulted in the Porsche driver’s second-straight American Le Mans Series GTC podium finish.

 

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For his third career Long Beach race, Pumpelly partnered with Nelson Canache Jr. in the No. 45 Flying Lizard Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Pumpelly qualified the car third with a lap of 1:23.014 (85.345 mph) around the 1.968-mile temporary street circuit.

Canache started the No. 45 and quickly moved into the GTC lead. The first half of the race was marred by full-course cautions. After two restarts, Canache was third when he handed the car over to Pumpelly during the race’s third and final full-course caution.

The Flying Lizard crew, known for its flawless pit stops, was stuck working in cramped quarters when a pit lane neighbor squeezed the team’s pit space. The crew did its best to execute the standard service in a timely fashion, but lost several seconds compared to a normal pit stop before releasing Pumpelly.

Once behind the wheel, Pumpelly would be blessed with green flag racing straight through to the end of the two-hour race. He took full advantage; resetting fast lap as he moved into second and chased down Sean Edwards’ No. 30 Porsche GT3 Cup for the lead. If only it had not been the shortest race on the ALMS schedule, Pumpelly may have had an opportunity to take the lead, but as it stood, the Porsche ace ran out of time, crossing the finish line 2.130 seconds behind Edwards.

“Nelson ran a great stint,” Pumpelly said. “He led much of the first part of the race. When I got in the car we had lost a little bit on the restarts and fell to third, but it was a fantastic job by Nelson to get the car toward the front.

“We got boxed in by a prototype on our pitstop. Looking back, that may have ultimately cost us the win. It’s unfortunate because the car was awesome. The Lizard guys did a phenomenal job and I had a great time driving the car. I was able to run down the leader, but didn’t have enough time to get by.”

While chasing the leader, Pumpelly set the fastest GTC lap of the race—a new Long Beach record—at 1:23.767. A podium finish, fast race lap and points are nice, but a bit of disappointment lingered in the Atlantan’s recap of the weekend.

“Ultimately, we came away with a good points day, but really wanted that victory. We’ve finished runner-up twice in-a-row now and it’ll feel great to break through for a win. It was a great effort by the guys—we came away with second-place points and it was the best race I’ve ever had here.”

Pumpelly’s next race will be with Flying Lizard Motorsports at the American Le Mans Series Monterey presented by Patrón in Monterey, Calif., May 9 – 11. That race will air live on ESPN3 and be televised on Sunday, May 12, at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN.

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