Crashes, cautions and bold choices: Road America 2016​
Aug 29, 2016

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The Road America race on August 6th in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, looked to be a perfect opportunity for the RS1 Legistics team to flex some muscle. The longest track of the season, with three long straights, was a welcome change from the tight turns and cramped maneuvering of the team’s previous race. Eager to let ‘er rip, driver Nick Galante drove a scorching qualifying round to earn the No. 17 Porsche Cayman a starting position in the top 10.

Entering the race from the 8th position, Galante had his eye on the front of the pack when a crash by some of the leaders during the third lap left two cars on their roofs. There were no serious injuries, but the race had to be halted for clean-up. When the action resumed, Nick found himself in a tight battle with the No. 27 Mazda. At the apex of turn 13, the two cars made contact. Both cars spun off the track but were able to continue the race. Eager to make up lost time, Nick put his head down and charged back into the fray.

A bold pit strategy

Midway through the race, another car wound up stranded on the track and another full course caution period was called. This was the perfect time for Nick to hand off the car to teammate Spencer Pumpelly. In a bold move, the RS1 Legistics team opted for a quicker pit stop and just took two tires and half the amount of fuel needed. This strategy catapulted the No. 17 over six positions closer to the front. Pumpelly took full advantage, posting fast lap after fast lap. In a day riddled with drama, another caution period was applied, and the team took the opportunity to pit for the remaining two tires and fuel needed to finish the race. The leaders in front of Spencer also decided to pit, but they took all four tires and a full load of fuel. With the shorter stop, the No. 17 again leaped ahead, coming in at 12th and out at 6th!

Pumpelly then performed his customary magic, passing car after car in a show of true race craft. With just 45 minutes left in the race, Spencer was in 3rd place, locked in a heated duel with two other cars. And then everything changed. The leaders, in front wheel drive cars, cooked their tires – and Pumpelly took the lead! The No. 17 left the field behind, stretching the lead to over 10 seconds before crossing the finish line in 1st place.

The triumphant win at Road America was a thrilling example of the power of collaboration. The brilliant pitstop strategy of RS1’s top engineer, Scott Besst; the amazing race craft of Spencer Pumpelly; the great qualifying position and first half of Nick Galante; and the unqualified support of RS1 and Legistics – put it all together, and what you get is a big win for the entire team.