GTWC America Acura NSX GT3 Evo
- Rodrigo Sales
- Matt McMurry
Ninth-place finish at the North Carolina bullring's wet and soggy IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup race
IMSA’s first trip to Charlotte Motor Speedway’s “Roval” replaced the originally-scheduled round at Lime Rock Park, and the track did an admirable job of living up to the “bullring” term that’s used to describe the Connecticut track.
With Corey Fergus unable to attend the race (instead sticking close to home for the impending birth of his daughter), Canadian Jeff Kingsley joined Paul Holton for the 100-minute sprint under the lights.
Kingsley – who had driven neither the track nor our No. 76 Richard Mille McLaren 720S GT3 prior to the first on-track session – quickly adapted and managed a solid fourth-place qualifying. Race day saw a damp, soggy track, something that seems to be one of the hallmarks of this year’s championship. The NASCAR Xfinity race immediately before our WeatherTech event was exciting to watch, with enormous rooster tails trailing out from behind the cars, making visibility for those not on the first row somewhat questionable.
The rain continued as the IMSA race began, and Kingsley fought valiantly, getting as high as third before pitting under caution and handing the car to Holton. A small miscue during the driver change saw our No. 76 drop from fourth to ninth, with Paul having his work cut out. It’s a reminder of just how competitive the WeatherTech Sprint Cup is; a few seconds in the pits can make all the difference.
With the rain continuing, Holton worked traffic, but got caught out by standing water whilst making a passing maneuver. He spun, and was unable to mount a charge back to the front, resulting in a ninth-place finish. It’s not where we expected to place, and are hoping for good luck (and weather) at the final race of the Sprint Cup season, at what we’ll call our “home track” for this season, at Laguna Seca.