Moorespeed to Compete in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge GS in Audi R8 LMS GT4

Moorespeed to Compete in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge GS in Audi R8 LMS GT4

07.08.2019: ....at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) with Rob Ferriol and Spencer Pumpelly Moorespeed and Ferriol Make GS Debut with Pumpelly in No. 18 Moorespeed/GridRival Audi R8 Following Breakout IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA Win at Road America

....at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) with Rob Ferriol and Spencer Pumpelly




Moorespeed and Ferriol Make GS Debut with Pumpelly in No. 18 Moorespeed/GridRival Audi R8 Following Breakout IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA Win at Road America

 
 

Moorespeed is expanding its winning IMSA sports car racing program with an IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge entry for the VIRginia International Raceway weekend, August 23 – 24, with Moorespeed driver Rob Ferriol and veteran IMSA champion Spencer Pumpelly in the No. 18 Moorespeed/GridRival Audi R8 LMS GT4.



The VIR entry in the top-tier Grand Sport (GS) class follows Moorespeed’s first race win with Ferriol this past weekend at Road America in IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama Gold Cup competition.



Moorespeed and Ferriol teamed up just this past June and came home winners in only their third weekend of competition and fifth race together at Road America. The win was the fifth-straight IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup victory for Moorespeed after overall weekend doubleheader sweeps with Zach Robichon last year and Corey Fergus in 2018.



The addition of the GS Audi for Ferriol and Pumpelly returns Moorespeed to a full-strength, three-entry team for the first time since late June at Watkins Glen International. Ferriol also competes in IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge at VIR in his No. 5 Moorespeed/GridRival Porsche 911 GT3 Cup alongside Platinum Cup teammate Riley Dickinson in the No. 53 Moorespeed Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.  




“We made a deal to do a ‘toe in the water’ event at VIR,” Moorespeed President David Moore said. “We’re really looking forward to it. We’ve been watching the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge races for a while now and it's good, hard competitive racing.



We’re looking forward to having Spencer in the car with Rob because they really get along well. That’s one of the key things of any successful race team is for the drivers to really get along well. I’m looking forward to working with them together in the car.”
 


Though relatively new to the racing world, Ferriol has made considerable strides. His Road America victory and string of Gold Cup podiums since partnering with Moorespeed has moved him to second in the Gold Cup championship point standings. He also made a one-off start in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge TCR class last year at VIR, finishing seventh.




“I’m really excited about moving into the GS class with Moorespeed,” Ferriol said. “I began track driving at VIR a couple of years ago. I did my first track day event there, so it’s home for me. As I look toward 2020, I wanted to take a run at the GS car and see how I acclimate to it.”



Pumpelly is a multi-time race winner at all levels of professional sports car racing. The 2016 IMSA Michelin Pilot Champion in the former Street Tuner (ST) class, Pumpelly makes his first start under the Moorespeed umbrella. The co-drivers have an established professional relationship, with Pumpelly serving as a driving coach for Ferriol.



“Rob has come a long way in his driving since we started working together two years ago,” Pumpelly said. “His learning curve is so steep that he instantly became competitive for race wins and pole positions. To watch him develop as a driver over the last season and a half has been a lot of fun. Going to VIR is obviously a good track for him, and it’s my favorite track on the schedule, so I’m looking forward to getting into the Audi and getting Rob up to speed. I think we’re really going to enjoy the run.”

 
Moorespeed did a quick survey of the available options for the GS debut but the decision to stay with Audi was an easy one. The team took delivery of the GS R8 LMS just two weeks ago and have been hard at work preparing for VIR.



Will Hardeman and Audi Sport customer racing co-driver Alex Riberas scored a sixth place GT Daytona (GTD) class finish in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in May in an Audi R8 LMS. The Moorespeed Audi team’s focus has now shifted to the GS effort after Hardeman was sidelined in a practice accident in the GTD Audi at Watkins Glen International in late June.



“We began the season as an Audi Sport customer racing team and fully intend to see it through,” Moore said. “The GS class is so competitive and we found a car that’s only done one or two races. Its virtually brand new, we took delivery of that car two weeks ago, and we are in full preparation. We’ll get the car setup, and then head to VIR for the test day.”
Moorespeed hasn’t ruled out a return to GTD competition in the future.



“I saw Will last week and the important thing is that he is doing well and was fortunate to avoid any serious injuries in what was a very hard hit at The Glen,” Moore said. “While he regroups and evaluates his next move, we have kept moving forward with the team and placed our current efforts on Rob’s GS debut at VIR. We’re still working to bring the GTD program back to the track. That and GS are both viable options for the future.”




Moorespeed will take advantage of a Thursday test day at Virginia International Raceway before the weekend officially gets underway Friday, August 23. The Michelin Pilot Challenge field will have two hours of Friday practice over three separate sessions before qualifying at 7:35 p.m. EDT on Friday evening. The two-hour VIR 120 IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race takes the green flag at 2:15 p.m. EDT on Saturday afternoon and will be shown live on IMSA.tv.





 
Reece White, David B. Moore- also photos

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/moorespeed-imsa-michelin-pilot-challenge-gs-audi-r8-lms-gt4---195436.html

07.08.2019 / MaP

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