Photo courtesy of IMSA

IMSA: Pumpelly, Machavern win Continental Challenge opener for RS1

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The first race of the IMSA weekend at Daytona International Speedway was held on Friday by IMSA’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, and saw a dominating performance from Spencer Pumpelly and Dillon Machavern for RS1 in their No.28 Porsche Cayman GT4 MR.

However, while they spent much of the race out front after Pumpelly rocketed into the lead from the pole position, the victory was not without its challenges. A late-race caution for Austin Cindric, whose No. 22 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 stopped on-course, saw the team, with Machavern now at the wheel, run third within the final 30 minutes.

However, when racing resumed, Machavern was quickly able to work his way back to the lead, passing Tyler Cook in the No. 82 BimmerWorld Racing BMW M4 GT4 and Scott Maxwell in the No. 15 Multimatic Motorsport Ford Mustang, to seize control of the lead for good, eventually winning by over seven seconds.

Second place went to Cooke and co-driver James Clay, while third went to Maxwell and co-drivers Cole Custer and Ty Majeski.

The TCR (Touring Car) class, which made its debut in IMSA competition this weekend, saw victory go to Britt Casey Jr. and Tom Long in the No. 77 Compass Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR.

In the ST (Street Tuner) class, Nick Galante and Devin Jones took the victory in their No. 81 BimmerWorld Racing BMW 328i.

Full race results can be found here.


Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”