The Brief

A tale of inches and miles
Jul 8, 2019

Ctmp Pit Stop 1600Px

Canadian Tire MotorSport Park
Saturday, July 6, 2019
Bowmanville, Ontario

Sometimes the true essence of a tale is in the numbers.

4 days

That’s how long the Legistics/Racing To End Alzheimer's/FastMd/Speed Syndicate team had to repair major damage to their #23 Audi RS3 (affectionately dubbed “Violet” by those who’ve come to know and love her) before qualifying rounds for the next crucial race in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series. After a catastrophic crash in their race at Watkins Glen International Raceway in upstate New York, the team knew they were facing a challenge of epic proportions.

1300 miles

With such a tight turnaround time, returning to their own repair shop more than 1300 miles away was clearly not an option. Luckily, driver James Vance had friends he could count on in the vicinity of the upcoming race. Audi Midtown Toronto and Audi super tech Jayson Van Eerdewijk stepped up to provide the team with a state-of-the-art “home away from home” to make the necessary repairs. With the shop closed for Canada Day, the Speed Syndicate Motorsports team threw mind and muscle into making the near-impossible happen.

Check it out:

6 inches

By the time qualifying day rolled around, Violet was once again ready for prime time. Driver Nick Galante placed in 10th position on the high-speed technical track formerly known as Mosport. After working his way up to 7th during the first half of the two-hour race, Nick dove into the pits for the hand-over to James Vance.

Nick was already out of the car when IMSA officials made the determination that the #23 had overshot the pit spot by 6 inches and would have to be rolled back before servicing. A nightmare scenario ensued, with precious seconds lost as the team rushed to comply with the IMSA directive. When James Vance finally took the wheel, he drove an amazing stint, clawing his way up to 6th place before time simply ran out.

5 races

With 5 races remaining in 2019, the team is currently 8th in the overall point standings. But as this roller-coaster of a series has proven, anything can – and very likely will – happen before this hard-fought season comes to a rip-roaring, nail-biting close.

A night to remember
Jul 6, 2019

The Divide Perry King Barn

TORONTO — Anticipation was running high on the eve of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Sportscar Championship Race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Ontario. But the upcoming high-stakes competition on the legendary track wasn’t the only reason for the excitement.

A red-carpet movie premiere and after-party to benefit the Canadian non-profit Baycrest Foundation at Hotel X Toronto on Friday night added a glittering new dimension to the traditional race weekend. Hosted by FEL in partnership with Racing to End Alzheimer’s, the evening featured the Canadian premiere of “The Divide,” a powerful new drama about a rancher struggling with the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

Actor/director Perry King, along with members of his cast and crew, Legistics CEO (and Racing to End Alzheimer’s founder) Phil Frengs and former NHL player Mike Zigomanis were all on hand to answer questions and mingle with friends, supporters, sponsors and donors committed to funding the care and finding the cure for Alzheimer’s. Truly a night to remember.

Founder Phil Frengs and FEL president Chris Bye toast a successful fundraiser for Baycrest Foundation.

A sudden turn of fate
Jun 30, 2019

Audi With No54 1600Px

Watkins Glen International Raceway
Saturday, June 29, 2019
Watkins Glen, NY

Every team participating in the grueling 4-hour IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race at Watkins Glen International Raceway was obsessed with the subject of tires. Running on slicks all week during dry practice runs, they were all too aware that rain in the forecast for race day could force them to change setup and strategy at a moment’s notice.

To pit or not to pit

When the showers finally hit late in the race, teams were forced to make the dreaded decision about whether to stick with their slick tires – or switch to wets for the remainder of the race.

Initially it looked like those that opted to pit for rain tires had made the right decision as they began to pass cars sliding around on slicks. But fortunes can be fickle, and the rain stopped as suddenly as it had started. As the track began to dry, teams that had stuck with their slick tires were able to reclaim the advantage.

A crashing denouement

Unfortunately for the Legistics/Racing To End Alzheimer's/FastMD/Speed Syndicate team, while tires did indeed prove to be their undoing at Watkin’s Glen, it was not for the anticipated reasons.

Midway through the race – and well before the rain began to fall – the #23 Audi RS3 driven by Nick Galante was battling for the TCR lead with the #54 helmed by Mikey Taylor. Coming into a tricky turn 8, a sudden puncture in the front tire of the #54 had Taylor battling for control of his car.

With split-second reflexes, Galante swerved to an outside line to avoid contact. But Taylor wasn’t able to keep his radius small, veering wide into the path of the #23. Both cars careened off the track in a collision that marked the end of the race for both race leaders.

With major damage to the #23 far from home, the team will have to throw everything they have into readying for their next race the following weekend in Bowmanville, Ontario.

Weathering adversity
May 25, 2019

Midohio Armas 102 960X600

Acura Sports Car Challenge
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
May 3-5, 2019

LEXINGTON, OHIO - The perfect storm. That’s what the Legistics/Racing to End Alzheimer's/FastMD/Speed Syndicate team ran up against earlier this month.

A dicey forecast
The most obvious challenge was the actual weather. With intermittent rain in the forecast throughout the weekend, every team on the track was forced to gamble on the timing and impact of the wet/dry conditions. From choosing the appropriate tires to gauging how fast to take the next turn, every decision was complicated by the unpredictable nature of those capricious spring showers.

A major challenge
Coming into qualifying, the #23 team was already on edge. Forced to replace a motor during the practice sessions, the risks and uncertainty of such a major last-minute change were top-of-mind for everyone involved. Driver Nick Galante headed onto the track for the 15-minute qualifying session just as a light rain began to fall. With track conditions already deteriorating, Galante couldn’t afford to hold back. Navigating heavy traffic, he put his head down and his doubts aside to qualify a respectable 4th in a grid of 15 cars.

The final blow
At the start of the race, Galante was shuffled back a couple of spots due to heavy traffic and light contact up ahead. Coming around turn two on the second lap, one of the GS cars hit a puddle and slid, slamming into the #23 and pushing it off the track. Galante was able to avoid hitting the wall, but the car picked up grass and debris, blocking the radiator. The engine temp instantly began to rise, forcing Galante to pit to address the problem. Once back on the track, Galante battled hard to close the big gap left by the unfortunate mishap.

At the halfway point of the race, driver James Vance took over. With fresh tires and a full tank of fuel, Vance set a scorching pace, picking off competitors and running some of the fastest times of the weekend. But as another light shower slicked the track, the motor once again began to show the effects of the rough earlier off. With the temperature rising precipitously, the car went into “limp” mode, and the team had no choice but to pull onto the infield and retire from the race.

Redemption – and crucial points – will be at stake in the next race of the 2019 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge on June 27-30 at Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen in Watkins Glen, NY.

For the first time this season, the #23 Audi RS3 took to the track sporting livery honoring those whose lives have been affected by Alzheimer’s disease. For the remainder of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, donors will have the opportunity to add the names of their loved ones to the #23, a moving and unique tribute facilitated by the Racing to End Alzheimer’s Foundation.

Watch the full Mid-Ohio race here.