Fresh off their storybook 2016 season, the Legistics/RS1 racing team took to the track on January 27th at Daytona International Speedway for the first race of the 2017 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. The weather may have been cool but the competition was hot as drivers Nick Galante and Spencer Pumpelly kicked off what promises to be a hard-fought, action-packed, season-long defense of their championship title.
As the sun was going down on the legendary Florida speedway, scores of high-performance engines were revving up for the first qualifying round of the year. Behind the wheel of the #17 Porsche Cayman, Nick Galante got a good run out of the bus stop and a good draft out onto the oval. The stars all seemed to be aligned as Nick qualified the car at 7th.
The team was eager to build on Nick’s momentum, but there was a catch. Unlike a typical 2.5-hour race, the season opener would be a grueling 4 hours. On everyone’s mind: how would that extended time affect them, their cars and their carefully calibrated strategies? Undaunted by the challenge, Nick started the race on the inside of the 4th row and passed three cars before the 4th turn. By the end of his steely stint on the course, the #17 was in 2nd place.
Nick handed the car off to hot shoe Spencer Pumpelly who exited the pits in the 6th spot. Charging back in his usual aggressive way, Spencer was back in the 2nd spot by the 3-hour mark. After a fierce, multi-lap battle with the #56 of Jeff Mosing and Eric Foss, Spencer made a great pass and took the lead.
With only 45 minutes left in the race, an unexpected flurry of caution periods and yellow flags opened the door for other cars to stock up on tires and fuel. Spencer got pushed back to the 5th spot with 15 minutes remaining. After yet another caution period at the 5-minute mark, Pumpelly charged his way back towards the front of the pack. In a show of grit and skill, the veteran driver muscled the #17 across the line in 3rd place for a coveted spot on the podium!
A great start to another exciting season for the RS1/Legistics team!