TPC Racing Takes Third at VIR!!! On April 23, 2006, the TPC Racing / Ajilon Consulting / JRZ USA team was at Virginia International Raceway for round four of the Grand American Rolex Series in the GT class. After missing...
TPC Racing Takes Third at VIR!!!
On April 23, 2006, the TPC Racing / Ajilon Consulting / JRZ USA team was at Virginia International Raceway for round four of the Grand American Rolex Series in the GT class. After missing both the Mexico City and Miami races, TPC Racing came to VIR very strong with a two car assault to the GT field. The four drivers, Michael Levitas, Randy Pobst, Ian Baas, and Spencer Pumpelly who won the Rolex 24 hour at Daytona in February were driving the two cars. The line up for the 35 TPC Racing / Ajilon Consulting / JRZ USA Porsche GT3 Cup was Michael Levitas and Spencer Pumpelly, and the line up in the 36 TPC Racing / Ajilon Consulting / JRZ USA Porsche GT3 Cup was Ian Baas and Randy Pobst. Both driver lineups were very strong, but only the 36 car was able to take the green flag on Sunday.
During a practice session on Thursday, Michael Levitas was behind the wheel of the 35 car when one of the Pontiac GTO.R's got loose in turn 1 and struck the 35 car. The damage to the 35 TPC Racing Porsche GT3 Cup was bad, causing the TPC Racing team to retire the car from the race on Sunday. Thankfully, Michael Levitas was unhurt. For teammates Ian Baas and Randy Pobst, things were going better. Ian Baas who has never been to VIR before this event, was doing great and running consistent lap times that were competitive. Ian and Randy were doing great during practice and always posting times in the top 5.
Qualifying was different than usual. It was a qualifying race. Usually the qualifying results are done by the best lap time a car sets. Ian Baas qualified the TPC Racing / Ajilon Consulting / JRZ USA Porsche GT3 Cup in the rain during the qualifying race. Ian did great, qualifying the 36 TPC Racing / Ajilon Consulting / JRZ UAS Porsche GT3 Cup in eighth place with a time of 2:19.911.
Usually the qualifying driver starts the race, but now the second driver in the lineup starts. Randy "The Rocket" Pobst started the race in the 36 TPC Racing Porsche GT3 Cup. After the green flag flew, Randy Pobst drove the 36 car up through the GT field into the top five. Later through the race, Randy made his way into third place and held the position for a number of laps. After a caution, one of the leading Pontiacs pitted and Randy moved up in the lead with Andy Lally in a Pontiac behind him. Randy held the lead for about five or six laps, with the difference between first and second less than one second. Randy did a great job during his stint then handed the car off to Ian Baas. Ian did great during his stint as well, staying in the top four of the very competitive GT field. Ian then moved up into third passing one of the 997 GT3's. After Ian's stint, Randy got back in the 36 TPC Racing / Ajilon Consulting / JRZ USA Porsche GT3 Cup to finish the race. Randy came back on the track in the top ten and made his way up the GT field quickly. Randy was then in fourth place passing Robin Lidell for third. Randy was doing great during his stint. The Pontiacs had a large lead on Randy close to the end of the race. Randy was making up time towards the end turning some fast lap times, as usual, for a 996 model Porsche GT3 Cup. Randy "The Rocket" Pobst ended up finishing third and was the first Porsche to finish. This was a great finish for the TPC Racing team, running up against some of the most competitive teams and the newer model 997 GT3's. As usual, the team did a fantastic job during the pit stops, and the strategy was great!
The TPC Racing team will be at Laguna Seca May 5-7 running two Porsche GT3 Cups. The team is excited to be back out and Spencer Pumpelly is anxiously waiting to drive the 35 TPC Racing / Ajilon Consulting / JRZ USA Porsche GT3 Cup there as well. "All the guys at TPC did a great job at VIR." "It was unfortunate that both cars could not race, but we are looking forward to Laguna." said Spencer Pumpelly.
Be sure to watch the race from Laguna Seca Live on SPEED Channel on May 7, 2006 at 3:00pm Eastern Time