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Moorespeed Finishes Fourth at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

Moorespeed Finishes Fourth at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

15.09.2019: ...in Second IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge GS Start Rob Ferriol and Spencer Pumpelly Use No. 18 Moorespeed/GridRival Audi R8 LMS GT4 Speed and Tire Strategy from Moorespeed for Season-Best Finish

...in Second IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge GS Start



Rob Ferriol and Spencer Pumpelly Use No. 18 Moorespeed/GridRival Audi R8 LMS GT4 Speed and Tire Strategy from Moorespeed for Season-Best Finish

 



Moorespeed finished fourth Saturday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in just the team’s second IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Grand Sport (GS) start, with drivers Rob Ferriol and Spencer Pumpelly joining the team in a solid performance that was nearly a podium finish.


Ferriol started the race in 13th place and drove to eighth before handing the No. 18 Moorespeed/GridRival Audi R8 LMS GT4 off to Pumpelly for the final one-hour and 20-minutes of the two-hour race. Pumpelly, aided by two well-executed pit stops by the Moorespeed team, drove through the field to finish fourth.


“The team has worked really hard and has come together in a short time,” Moorespeed President David Moore said. “We’ve really gelled, and it’s been a lot of fun. We had a chance today and just came up a little bit short. I’m so proud of everybody and we’ll try for more the next time we come out.”


Despite only his second weekend in the Audi R8 LMS GT4, and on a difficult 2.238-mile circuit notorious for tire wear, Ferriol was able to improve five positions in the opening stint. His debut visit to Laguna Seca doubled as a test for next weekend’s IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA doubleheader, where Ferriol and Moorespeed sit second in the Gold Cup standings. 


“I’m extremely satisfied with progression throughout the weekend,” Ferriol said. “It’s still a new car, and it’s definitely a new and very challenging track. To go from where I was to how we performed in the race through the course of three days, I couldn’t be any happier with that. A lot of that is the Moorespeed team, for rolling the car off of the trailer in perfect condition.”

 
Moorespeed picked up one spot during the team’s first pit stop that included four tires and a driver change. Pumpelly climbed as high as second-place after taking over from Ferriol, then came to pit lane for a gutsy strategy call by team engineer John Horton with 33 minutes to go.


Balancing all-important track position and a circuit that rewards fresh tires, Moorespeed filled the car with fuel and changed only the right-side tires before sending Pumpelly back on track.


The call was correct, as the quick stop allowed Pumpelly to rejoin the race in 10th place and climb through the field to finish in fourth, just one second behind the final podium position.


“Unfortunately, we got stuck in traffic and I spent a lot of the early part of my first stint trying to get by slower cars,” Pumpelly said. “I used a lot more of my tire than I wanted to. I knew if I could get clear air and clear track, we had a pretty quick car. But every lap we were losing ground to the leader and we were burning up tire trying to get through. By the time everything settled down, I don’t think we had the tire life that I was planning on. That’s what we had to deal with today. To come away with our best finish so far and just miss the podium is great.”


Moorespeed is back in action at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in less than a week, with three cars entered in the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama weekend running in conjunction with IndyCar. Riley Dickinson and Chris Bellomo join Ferriol for the doubleheader weekend in the Moorespeed paddock. Ferriol has won in each of the last two Porsche GT3 Cup race weekends, and Dickinson joined him on the podium at VIR.


“I think we got a leg up for Rob next week,” Moore said. “We’re looking forward to Riley and Chris joining us in a few days to see if we can keep the momentum going.”


Saturday's race from WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca can be seen on NBC Sports Network during a tape-delayed broadcast on Wednesday, September 18 at 1:00 p.m. EDT.

 

Reece White- photo Moorespeed

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/moorespeed-fourth-weathertech-laguna-seca---197355.html

15.09.2019 / MaP

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