over the border and through the woods
ONTARIO, CANADA — After the dramatic roller-coaster ride of the Watkins Glen race, the RS1/Legistics/@RickieFowler team shifted their sights north to the fast and fierce Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario. Third in points for the season, the team needed a good result to stay in the fight with the #56 car of Mosing and Foss.
Despite having had just a week to regroup after the ups and downs of the previous race, drivers Nick Galante and Spencer Pumpelly – and their #17 Porsche Cayman – were firing on all cylinders. Galante qualified in 9th place, his best showing yet at this notoriously tough track. Pumpelly, one of the fastest drivers in practice, was eager to get back behind the wheel and show what he could do.
Galante had a difficult start to the race as the field bunched up and scrambled the flow. There was contact and a spin ahead on the exit of turn one. Nick was forced to check up, narrowly avoiding the melee. Determined to regain his position and work his way to the front, Galante passed a car in turn 2, and another in turn 3. On the entry into a fast turn 4, he saw an opportunity on the outside and went for it. With the turn 5 right-hander quickly approaching, Galante saw himself running out of road and had to hit the curb in an attempt to avoid contact with the opposing car. Despite his best efforts, the left rear of the #17 struck the car on the outside, causing a flat.
Galante limped back to the pits, where the team quickly replaced the wheel and sent him back onto the track. The #17 had a lot of catching up to do. At the halfway point, during a caution for a car off in turn 3, Galante was given the signal to get into position behind the pace car and the leaders. Unbeknownst to him, the officials determined that he acted too soon and passed a car under caution.
Galante headed to the pits for fuel, tires and a driver change. Spencer Pumpelly hopped in, determined to make up for the very tough first half. It was then that race officials called in the bad news that the #17 would have to take a drive-through penalty for passing a car under caution. This was yet another frustrating setback for the team and its strategy. Despite everything, Pumpelly did a great job clawing for every point, working his way from nearly last place up to 11th. The team did salvage some points for the season but has already set their sights on the next race of this hotly contested series at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut on Saturday, July 22nd. Can’t wait!