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May 31, 2014 - 06:35 AM
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Pumpelly Rebounds From Heartbreaking Defeat, Drives Audi R8 To GTD Pole
Posted by: newsla on May 31, 2014 - 06:31 AM
Sports Cars
Pumpelly Rebounds From Heartbreaking Defeat, Drives Audi R8 To GTD Pole

This time, a last lap went right for Spencer Pumpelly and Flying Lizard Motorsports.

One race ago, Pumpelly found himself leading at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, only to run out of fuel on the final lap and finish sixth. He took the first step in rebounding from that heartbreak Friday, earning the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship TOTAL Pole Award in the GT Daytona (GTD) class at Detroit Belle Isle.


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Pumpelly drove the No. 45 Venezuela/eSilicon Audi R8 LMS to the pole for Saturday’s Chevrolet Sports Car Classic presented by Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers (12:10 p.m. ET start, 1:30 p.m. on FOX Sports 1) in the closing minutes of the 15-minute qualifying session with a time of 1 minute, 32.914 seconds/91.052 mph.

“We had high hopes this weekend, coming here: doing well, getting the pole, winning the race,” said Pumpelly, who co-drives with Nelson Canache Jr. “We just have to get that chip off our shoulder tomorrow and finally come through with, not an almost, but a ‘did.’”

It was the second consecutive pole for Pumpelly and the ninth of his career.

The pole changed hands 10 times throughout the session, including five times over the final five minutes. Leh Keen briefly held the top spot in the No. 22 WeatherTech Porsche 911 GT America of Alex Job Racing with five minutes remaining, but quickly lost the position to the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia of Alessandro Balzan.

Lap times continued to drop as the session went on with Pumpelly and TRG-AMR’s James Davison swapping the pole before Pumpelly took it for good with just two minutes left.

Jeroen Bleekemolen made a run at the top spot at the session ended, but fell a mere 0.278 seconds short in the No. 33 ViperExchange.com SRT Viper GT3-R with a lap of 1:33.192/90.780 mph. Kevin Estre – who held the pole briefly in the middle part of the session – qualified third at 1:33.246/90.728 mph in the No. 73 Park Place Motorsports Porsche 911 GT America.

The Motor Racing Network will carry live radio coverage of the Chevrolet Sports Car Classic beginning at 12 p.m. ET on Saturday. The broadcast will be available on Sirius Channel 117, IMSA.com and MRN.com.

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