Alegra Motorsports’ Michael Christensen and Spencer Pumpelly claimed overall victory Monday afternoon (May 28) in Pirelli World Challenge’s GT SprintX Race No. 1 at Lime Rock Park. It is the first PWC victory for Alegra Motorsports.
“To be honest, it was all about the first stint today,” Christensen said after the race. “The car definitely drove well and we were able to exploit it’s potential, especially when we had no traffic. The clean start was what we needed since it took time for [the tires to come up to temperature].”
K-PAX Racing’s Àlvaro Parente originally won the pole for the race on Saturday. However, his time (along with teammate Rodrigo Baptista‘s) was excluded due to the Bentley exceeding the maximum allowable engine RPMs. The team released a statement in response.
Team statement regarding the post qualifying disqualification at Lime Rock Park: pic.twitter.com/jZXXAxD3pw
— K-PAX Racing (@KPAXracing) May 28, 2018
The disqualification of the Bentleys resulted in Lone Star Racing’s Mike Skeen inheriting the pole position. On the start, CRP Racing’s Daniel Morad attempted to make a run for the lead. Contact was made and Morad ended up in the grass.
Skeen was able to keep the lead, but was given a drive-through penalty for avoidable contact. When Skeen performed his drive-through penalty, Pumpelly swept past into the lead.
Once out front, Pumpelly maintained a solid advantage up until the mid-race pit stops. With the driver changes complete, Christensen ended up with a three second lead. The Porsche factory racer held onto that advantage until Ryan Hardwick crashed his Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo in Big Bend to bring out a full course caution.
The yellow closed R. Ferri Motorsport’s Miguel Molina right up on Christensen for the restart, but Christensen got the drop of him. From there, Christensen pulled away to take the win. For his teammate Pumpelly, it is his second consecutive GT SprintX win at Lime Rock. He won Race No. 2 in 2017 for Magnus Racing alongside Dane Cameron.
Alegra Motorsports’ margin of victory was 2.759 seconds over Molina and Toni Vilander’s Ferrari. PFAFF Motorsports’ Scott Hargrove and Wolf Henzler were third, followed by Parente and Andy Soucek in the K-PAX Racing No 9 Bentley. Morad and Raffaele Marciello finished fifth in class.
In GT Pro-Am, the penalty to Baptista elevated TruSpeed AutoSport’s No. 19 Audi for Parker Chase and Ryan Dalziel to the top of the class. They went unchallenged for the 60 minute race on their way to their first win of the year and fifth overall.
After Morad went off on the first lap, the goal for CRP Racing was to go as fast as possible. Once Marciello got in the car, that was made clear. Marciello set three consecutive quick laps that lowered the best lap of the race to 51.686 seconds (102.666 mph). As a result, Marciello will start the DeVilBiss Mercedes on pole in Race No. 2.
GT SprintX Race No. 2 is scheduled to go green at 4:05 p.m. EDT Monday afternoon. The race will be streamed live at World-Challenge.com.