March 17, 2017 — Sebring, Florida
Following a good third place showing at the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge inaugural race at Daytona in late January, the #17 Legistics/RS1/Rickie Fowler team headed to the grueling bumps of the historic Sebring Raceway in central Florida.
Faced with an unusual early morning qualifying slot, driver Nick Galante had his hands full trying to lay down an acceptable time before he and his tires had warmed up to optimum operating temperature. On the last lap, it all came together, and a wide-awake Galante muscled a fully responsive #17 into the 6th spot, their best qualifying position to date.
The green flag for the race flew on a perfectly cool Florida day. After a decent start, Nick had picked up a position by the completion of lap one. He dug in and held off all challengers lap after solid lap. When a car broke down on the track about an hour into the two-hour race, Nick capitalized on the opportunity to pit and switch drivers. He and the team executed a perfect pit stop, picking up another spot in the pit lane.
Spencer Pumpelly roared onto the track, put his foot down and started making his way toward the front of the pack. A good run coming off turn 17 and a great pass heading into turn 1 propelled the #17 Porsche Cayman into the third spot. The battle for dominance was close and fast. The #44 Nissan of Owen Trinkler (& Sarah Cattaneo) and the #56 Porsche of Eric Foss (& Jeff Mosing) were nose to tail in first and second place.
Locked in a fierce battle of wit and speed with only 3.5 minutes left in the race, the leaders headed into the slippery turn 15 side by side. With neither driver backing down, contact was inevitable. The #56 spun to the outside, the #44 slowed slightly to gather back onto the line – and the #17 pounced! With a split-second maneuver that drew gasps from the stands, Spencer took the lead and aggressively defended it against the considerable firepower of #44. With flawless driving over the final lap and a half of the race, Pumpelly clinched a big victory for the revved-up Legistics team.
Don’t miss our team’s next exciting race at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on May 5th!