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Jul 14, 2014 - 04:45 PM
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No Luck for Pumpelly in Canada
Posted by: newsla on Jul 14, 2014 - 04:41 PM
No Luck for Pumpelly in Canada

A run of bad luck in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship continued for Spencer Pumpelly and Flying Lizard Motorsports at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. After showing a quick pace early, penalties in both qualifying and the race cost the No. 45 Audi R8 LMS a strong result.


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Pumpelly was optimistic that the team was on track for a good finish after qualifying second around the circuit more popularly known as “Mosport.” Unfortunately, the No. 45 did not pass post-qualifying technical inspection due to a ride height infraction.

“We had a good run in qualifying,” Pumpelly said. “The car was pretty hooked up and we were close to the pole time. On track we made some contact on the right-side rocker, which caused the front to get pushed up and bowed the middle down. That caused us to not pass the ride height rule, so we had to start at the back.”

Co-driver Nelson Canache Jr. took on the daunting task of starting from the back of the ultra-competitive 18-car GTD field. He did a fine job moving the Audi through the field and up to ninth before it was time to pit and hand the car over to Pumpelly.

“Nelson had a really good opening stint and he moved us up from the back to about mid-pack when he ran into some trouble moving foreword and started to get some vibration due to pickup,” Pumpelly recalled. “He nursed it back to the pits in a solid mid-pack position. He did a great job in tough conditions.”

During the pit stop, race officials determined a wheel rolled and left the pit box, resulting in a stop-plus-20 penalty. Despite the team’s protests, Pumpelly served the penalty shortly after joining the race to avoid incurring a second penalty. Serving the penalty put the No. 45 two laps down to the GTD leaders.

For the remaining hour and a half, Pumpelly pushed as hard as he could to make up the lost ground—a difficult task considering how difficult passing is around the 10-turn, 2.459-mile road course.

“Mosport is a wonderful place to race because it’s so fast and so fun, but the nature of the track makes it very difficult to pass,” Pumpelly explained. “The corners are fast, so aero understeer shows up when you’re running behind someone. Then, because the turns continue to alternate left-right, even if you get a run coming off of a corner, then you’re on the wrong side of the road when you’re going the other way. The one straightaway where you can do some drafting and set up a pass comes off of a really tight corner that stacks everyone up. It has an accordion effect and you can only come out of that turn and onto the straightaway one at a time.”

Try as he might, when the checkered flag waved after two hours and 45 minutes of racing, the No. 45 was tenth.

“It wasn’t our day today, but there are still a lot of races to go and the Flying Lizard guys always give us a fast car,” Pumpelly said. “We’ll look ahead to the next race at Indy, give it everything we have and hope lady luck smiles on us for a change.”

Up next for Pumpelly is the Brickyard Grand Prix at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, July 24 – 25. The race will air on FOX Sports 1, Friday, July 25, at 7 p.m. ET.

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