TREACHEROUS RACE CONDITIONS WITH VISIBILITY FAR FROM OPTIMAL DID NOT HAMPER THEIR PROGRESS ON-TRACK
The MOTUL 100% Synthetic Grand Prix IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race for the two GT classes started an hour late due to the lengthened NASCAR Xfinity Series race that also ran in adverse conditions.
With standing water in various parts of the track as well as the luminosity of the Roval being tricky to say the least, GTLM and GTD drivers had to be aware of continuous changing track conditions at every inch of the track.
From a TV viewer point of view, we could not see much of the action taking place for most of the race. Can’t imagine from a driver’s point of view what it was like. They surely had to be on their toes during their entire stint.
Being recently recruited by Compass Racing to replace regular McLaren 720S GT3 driver Corey Fergus whose wife is expecting their first child and having not driven a GTD GT3 car at all before the weekend Jeff Kingsley, current leader of IMSA Porche GT3 Cup Challenge US championship, did more than a great job at the wheel of #76 Compass Racing Richard Mille McLaren 720S GT3 having qualified the car in fourth place.
Before handing the car over to teammate Paul Holton on lap 16 from fourth place, Jeff held his grounds and actually ran in third place for several laps while keeping his lap times very competitive to those around him in GTD.
Kingsley has been a strong figure in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge US all season long while showing confidence on track in all situations. Coming out of a successful Mid-Ohio weekend where he scored three victories in as many races, he currently leads the championship by 22 points from Riley Dickinson. The next round of the Porche GT3 Cup Challenge US is schedule for October 15-17 at Road Atlanta with another three races on the schedule. His next outing with Compass Racing is to be for the last round of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Sprint Cup round at Laguna Seca on October 30-November 1. We are looking forward to see him back in action in the McLaren.
Another young Canadian talent is Roman De Angelis partnering with Ian James driving the #23 The Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3. The team had to miss some of the events this year due to the pandemic but every time Roman gets behind the wheel, you can see he is getting more and more comfortable and building his confidence with driving the Aston Martin. The proof is that really gutsy move he made on a late restart to take third place away from (a most likely surprised) Townsend Bell on the penultimate lap and made it stick. The full course yellow was prompted with the incident with GTLM #4 Corvette Racing with Tommy Milner at the wheel when the rear right suspension collapsed coming out of the oval section. De Angelis had occupied sixth place on the restart with five laps to go.
After the race, De Angelis commented: “An incredible weekend. We came into the weekend not thinking we’d be anything. My voice has almost gone from screaming so much in the car, but I can’t thank everyone at The Heart of Racing enough, just to be here is amazing, but for the team to put the car together to make this weekend happen and race like we did, let alone the team in Seattle and New Zealand; everyone deserves the credit.”
IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship teams have little time to turn around as they are heading to Motul Petit Le Mans for the annual 10 hour race this coming weekend of October 15-17.
Let’s hope Mother Nature will be more gentle for this one.
Main image courtesy of The Heart of Racing
Photographer & Editor