GX victory at Barber pairs with GS disappointment for Pumpelly

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With the DNF at Barber, Pumpelly falls from second to 14th in the GS Drivers’ Championship.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Following a strong performance at Circuit of the Americas, Spencer Pumpelly arrived at Barber Motorsports Park for Round Three of the Rolex Sports Car Series and Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge riding a wave of podium momentum.

While Pumpelly was able to keep his winning ways alive in GX, the Porsche ace’s GS race was over before it began.

#38 BGB Motorsports Porsche Carrera: Jim Norman, Spencer Pumpelly
#38 BGB Motorsports Porsche Carrera: Jim Norman, Spencer Pumpelly

Photo by: Jackie Buys

Teaming again with Dr. Jim Norman in the No. 38 BGB Motorsports Porsche Cayman, Pumpelly was on a mission to get the team it’s second-straight GX class win.

A transmission issue in qualifying relegated Norman to third on the grid, but the BGB crew was able to fix the issue in time for Saturday’s race.

Norman took the green flag in the Cayman and moved up to second before handing the car over to Pumpelly halfway through the two-hour race.

Pumpelly set his sights on the lead GX car, the No. 00 Mazdaspeed/Speedsource Mazda6 GX, shrinking the gap until the leader was forced to make an extra pit stop, moving Pumpelly into the lead.

He proceeded to take the Porsche all the way to the checkered flag, unchallenged, for the win.

“Each race we do in GX, the competition gets faster and more reliable,” Pumpelly said. “This weekend they definitely had the pace to win, but just couldn't make it to the end. We won the race more with reliability than pace.

“I'm really proud of the guys at BGB. They put a transmission in late Friday. They were the last ones to leave the track and the first ones here in the morning. The car was flawless.

“Dr. Jim did a great job. He handed the car over to me on the lead lap and we took over the race lead when the 00 had to pit.”

The GX win had Pumpelly and the BGB team pumped to go after another podium in the GS class, where the No. 38 Porsche Carrera was starting 18th.

Dr. Jim Norman started the two hour and 30 minute race with Pumpelly ready to bring the car home. Unfortunately, Pumpelly would never get a turn behind the wheel, as the car came to a stop on lap 22 with engine trouble.

“The GS car is quick and usually very reliable,” Pumpelly sighed. “I'm sure we'll get to the bottom of the issue that held us back today.

The bigger issue is the points hit we took, but, you have to think that over the course of the season, everyone is going to have a bad race. It's unfortunate that ours happened so soon, but it doesn't necessarily take us out of the championship.”

BGB Motorsports continues to lead the GX Championship with Pumpelly now third in the GX Drivers’ Championship (he was not entered in GX at Daytona).

With the DNF at Barber, Pumpelly falls from second to 14th in the GS Drivers’ Championship. BGB is fifth in the GS team standings.

Pumpelly has already refocused on the next race, which will be May 31 – June 1, at the Detroit 200. He will be forced to miss Round Four at his home track, Road Atlanta, to participate in the Long Beach Grand Prix for Flying Lizard Motorsports in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. That race will air on ABC, Sunday, April 21, at 1 p.m. ET.

Spencer Pumpelly

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About this article
Series GRANDAM
Article type Race report
Tags barber, carrera, cayman, grandam, norman, porsche, pumpelly