IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge
Lime Rock Park
Saturday, July 16, 2022
After a decent showing north of the border, the Racing to End Alzheimer’s/Hardpoint team returned stateside for the next leg of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut. The race, like many others this season, put the whole crew through its paces, dangling triumph but ending in heartbreak.
As he’s demonstrated time and again, Nick Galante is a force to be reckoned with on his home track. During the opening leg at Lime Rock, Galante stormed forth with the confidence of a veteran driver for whom the varied turns have become all but second nature.
Starting from 13th, Nick wasted no time getting to work. He picked up two spots right off the line and settled into the top ten by minute 23. Operating from an enviable position, the engineering team decided to pre-empt the rest of the field and bring the No. 22 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport in at the 35-minute mark for fuel and new left-side tires. While the rest of the teams took their stops and changed drivers, Galante pressed his advantage, muscling his way up to 4th at the restart.
From there, Nick shifted through the top ten, taking and losing spots as he engaged in heated battles for position. Just before he brought the Cayman back into the pits for a driver change, Galante made one more eye-popping move, expertly maneuvering the No.22 around a spinning car. That dramatic effort saved and extended the race for the team, if only for a few minutes.
Yellow Flag Disaster
At the end of his eventful leg, Nick Galante handed the car over to Sean McAlister, who set out determined to make a run for the podium. Emerging under yellow flag conditions, McAlister settled in to wait out the caution.
The race, however, would never re-start for the No.22. In turn six, McAlister was hit from behind, throwing him into an unavoidable spin and collision that destroyed the suspension. In seconds, the early promise of this race evaporated, and bad luck took the day.
It’s difficult for anyone here at Racing to End Alzheimer’s to express anything but disappointment at such a cruel missed opportunity. To be knocked out of a race during the caution period is about as frustrating as it gets. That being said, this is an experienced and professional team. They know that tough times don’t last, and there are three more races this season to prove it. Stay tuned.