October 28, 2016

There’s talent, there’s preparation, there’s determination…and then there’s that most elusive of all factors – luck.

Team RS1/Legistics would need them all in the final race of the 2016 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge in Braselton, Georgia on September 30th. Trailing by 8 points in the championship, the team had to have an absolutely perfect weekend. It was do or die time.

Mathematically the #17 Porsche could still win it all if they came in 1st in the Road Atlanta race – and if the current point leaders in the #25 Mazda finished in 5th place or lower. It was a tall order on both counts, but the RS1/Legistics team had dominated all season long – and they were ready to dance.

Driver Nick Galante headed out for qualifying with the tough task of driving aggressively enough to secure a position towards the front of the pack without risking damage to the car. The crash of another car on the second lap of qualifying meant that all of the cars were only able to complete one flying lap. Nick was able to qualify in 11th position on his single lap, a solid place from which to commence the fight to the season finish.

Obstacle course

After a good start in the race, Nick was working his way toward the front when a car veered off the track and into the wall. As the cars formed up for a restart, a collision up front just before the green flag forced Nick to react to avoid the melee. Keeping the car clean and damage free came at the cost of two positions.

Moments later, yet another car spun off and into the wall, resulting in another full course caution. Team RS1/Legistics decided to use the opportunity for a full pit stop – driver change, new tires and a full tank of fuel. The adrenaline-fueled team handled the crucial pit stop perfectly, and “Hot Shoe” Spencer Pumpelly took to the track with a vengeance.

With the #25 Mazda in the lead, Spencer battled his way to 4th position with 50 minutes remaining in the championship race. At 28 minutes, the #17 Porsche was locked in an epic struggle with its chief rival. During a brilliant run down the back straightaway, Spencer dove to the inside and took the lead! Never backing down, the experienced driver widened the gap over the next couple of laps.

Fate steps in

But even a comfortable spot in front wouldn’t be enough to clinch the championship. The #25’s drivers, Steven McAleer and Chad McCumbee, had fought clean and hard all season; currently in second place in the race, they would have to drop to fifth for Team RS1/Legistics to win the season crown. It was an unlikely scenario.

Then, just like that, the seemingly impossible happened. The #25 Mazda began to slow up. Like a scene from a Hollywood movie, little puffs of smoke poured from the obviously wounded racecar. 18 minutes from the finish of the race, the only car that stood between Team RS1/Legistics and the title was forced to retire with a blown engine. The bad luck that had dogged the #17 in the previous two races had just caught up with their main rivals. Having run a gutsy, never-say-die race, Team RS1/Legistics was perfectly positioned to capitalize on the opportunity.

With a clear view to the finish line, Spencer brought home the win, and with it the championship title! It was a stunning finish to a dramatic season – and an enduring testament to the power of perseverance, positive thinking – and collaboration.



share this post

 

More News & Updates

Honoring Champions|Honoring Commitments

One of the reasons why we took on a 4,000 mile cross-country tour during the middle of a pandemic, was to meet up with some of our contributors so that they could see their Champion’s name on the car in person. At the Nantz National Alzheimer Center we spent some time with Bruce Mowry, owner […]

Read more
Nick and Phil in front of IMSA

The Journey Begins

We are underway Starting today at Daytona International Speedway, our team, led by our founder Phil Frengs and lead driver, Nick Galante, is driving across the country on a 4,000 mile road trip to fund Alzheimer’s care and research:   Please join us by making a $250 donation today. Our corporate sponsor, Legistics, will be […]

Read more

On The Road Again: The Ultimate Tour For The Cure

The 2020 racing season started off with the most successful fundraising to date; 75 names on our car for the first race. Then COVID-19 hit and the season ground to halt. While we waited for the season to restart, we wondered: What could we do to honor our Champions, and continue to draw attention to […]

Read more

My Champion: My Father, Dr. Alan Singer

My Champion: My Dad, Dr. Alan Singer By Meredith Singer-Moreadith Dr. Alan Singer lived by the belief that “we are our brother’s keeper.” This maxim would be reflected across his entire life. Born in Washington DC in 1942, Dr. Singer grew up an only child to working class parents. Music, theater, and reading were his passions; […]

Read more