INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Spencer Pumpelly left the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a podium this weekend, driving the BGB Motorsports Porsche Cayman to a second-place GX finish in the Brickyard Grand Prix. In the Brickyard Sports Car Challenge, he sliced through traffic to claim an eighth-place GS finish in BGB Motorsports’ Porsche Carrera.
The Brickyard Sports Car Challenge was an uphill battle for the team from the outset. Starting from 17th, co-driver Jim Norman did a standup job working the No. 38 BGB Motorsports Porsche Carrera through the GS field to 11th before handing the car over to Pumpelly during a long full-course yellow.
The team opted to try an unusual pit stop strategy, bringing Pumpelly back in soon after the driver change. This cycled him out of the lead group of GS cars and dropped him to 18th. Pumpelly thrashed his way through traffic to make up the ground, picking up 10 positions to finish eighth before the checkered flag waved.
“The BGB car was super fast in GS today and was prepared flawlessly,” Pumpelly said. “We finally broke through the bad luck we’ve been having with small mechanical stuff. Even with how great the car was, it was difficult to pass and I had a tough time getting through traffic.”
The team did not escape mechanical gremlins in the Brickyard Grand Prix, however. While leading the race, Norman radioed to the team that the shift lever had broken in the car. He brought the No. 38 BGB Motorsports Porsche Cayman into pit lane, where the crew did a heroic job fixing the broken lever in less than five laps. Pumpelly climbed in and rejoined the GX race in third.
Shortly thereafter, one of the Mazdas Pumpelly was chasing also had a mechanical problem, promoting the No. 38 machine to second. When the Mazda rejoined, the race was on and Pumpelly was able to hold off the competitor taking second place by just over 20 seconds.
“That second place is what we needed to get Jim the North American Endurance Championship driver title and extend his points lead in GX,” Pumpelly said. “The BGB guys did an amazing job fixing the shift lever and keeping us in the hunt. Dr. Jim was actually pulling the cable by hand in the car to engage third gear and get the car back to pit lane. It’s a shame a small part we don’t make broke after only four races, but the team pulled together and we’re looking forward to Road America.”
Pumpelly now looks ahead to an even busier weekend at Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wis., where he will compete in three different racing series. On Saturday, Aug. 10 he will drive in both the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge at 1:30 PM ET, followed by the Rolex Series’ VistFlorida.com Sports Car 250 at 5 p.m. ET. Then, on Sunday, Aug. 11, he will cap off the weekend in the American Le Mans Series with the Orion Energy Systems 245 at 3 pm ET. The Rolex Series race airs live on SPEED, while the ALMS race airs live on ABC.