GTD McLaren 720S GT3
- Paul Holton
- Matt Plumb
McLaren duo help C360R notch second double-podium in GS class with team-mates Holton and Plumb
WATKINS GLEN, NY — In a wild race that saw various conditions from bright sun to torrential rain, the Compass Racing squad persevered to notch their second double-podium of the IMSA Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge season. At the fall of the checkered flag, Mathew Keegan and Nico Rondet nabbed second place in their No. 77 AERO™ Advanced Paint Technology / Santo Mezquila / Misahara Jewelry / Pfaff Automotive / Race Day Foundation McLaren 570S GT4. Close behind was the No. 76 Alphaclone ETF / AERO™ Advanced Paint Technology / Pfaff Automotive / Race Day Foundation car of Paul Holton and Matt Plumb, taking third place.
Whilst the race was drama-filled in the mid-pack, Holton led from the start, having taken pole position in convincing style for the second race in a row. Keegan, in his first trip to the upstate New York track, started in seventh, but quickly moved through the GS-class field.
Meanwhile, Roy Block was similarly slicing through the ST-class in the No. 75 APR LLC / AERO™ Advanced Paint Technology / Pfaff Automotive / Race Day Foundation Audi S3 he shares with Pierre Kleinubing.
With just minutes to go before the pit window for driver changes, the heavens opened and the track was deluged, the drivers fighting to keep their cars on the blacktop on slick tires. Heading into turn one and making a bold pass, Block’s Audi found standing water and made contact with the tire barrier. He was able to continue, but the incident had broken the hood pins which allowed the hood to flip up and shatter the windscreen, forcing No. 75 to retire.
“It was a real shame because we had a podium-capable car again today,” noted Block. “The car felt great in the dry and even better in the rain, where the Audi Quattro all-wheel-drive really shines.”
With lightning reported in the area, series officials red-flagged the race. Soon thereafter the rain stopped and the race was resumed. Pit stops were undertaken for driver and tire changes, and with all of the cars good to go on fuel, it was a battle to the finish. Plumb took the restart in second and controlled the race for much of his stint with Rondet close behind in fifth.
With ten minutes to go, Plumb had an issue at the “bus stop” at the end of the back straight and dropped to eighth. Nico moved up to third and Matt clawed his way back to fourth, when contact between the first and second place cars provided an opportunity for both McLarens to snatch podium places.
“What a crazy race,” exclaimed Holton. “It’s what makes this series so great; flat-out competition for the whole race.”
Keegan was equally enthusiastic. “It’s great to be on the podium again, and this is great for championship points. We’re still struggling with only having one gun to do pit stops with, but the C360R guys are making it work as best they can. Still, this was a great race and it bodes well for Mosport next week.”
Keegan and Rondet leave Watkins Glen second in the GS points, with Holton and Plumb in third, mirroring the race results.
“We’re thrilled to be in the championship hunt with our new McLarens,” said Team Principal Karl Thomson. “It’s a new platform for the series with the adoption of GT4 regulations, and with the arrival of new manufacturers like Audi and BMW, I think it bodes well for the future of the GS class.”
The race is broadcast on FOX Sports and can be viewed on-line at http://imsatv.imsa.com/videos/series/sportscarchallenge.
About Santo Mezquila
Santo Puro Mezquila is an agave blend made from 100% Blue Variety Tequilana Weber agave and 100% Espadin agave (Angustifolia variety). Founded by Sammy Hagar and Adam Levine over their shared love of tequila, the duo have brought together an expert team to develop the perfect blend of tequila and mezquila, creating a higher spirit. Santo’s intense agave aroma mixes with an earthy, light smokiness with a hint of herbs. Working with Juan Eduardo Nuñez, third generation Master Distiller from the famed distillery, “El Viejito”, founded in 1937, they crafted and perfected the world’s first Mezquila, and, appropriately called it, Santo. For details visit http://santomezquila.com.
About Misahara Jewelry
Misahara is a fine jewelry house that pays tribute to the warm, shimmering waters of the Adriatic Sea, the golden sand of the Sahara Desert as well as other mesmerizing destinations in the world that its designer, Lepa Galeb-Roskopp is inspired by. Misahara creations are handcrafted in New York and London by experienced ateliers who have worked with some of the world's most prestigious jewelry houses. The collections evoke the feeling of exquisite luxury, channelling a ‘desinvolte and suave’ flare marked by unique handcraftsmanship and the finest quality gemstones. See the collection at https://www.misahara.com.
About AERO™ Advanced Paint Technology
AERO™ Advanced Paint Technology is an environmentally sustainable paint applique that eliminates the need for harmful sprayers. AERO was initially designed for The Boeing Company as a lightweight paint film technology for the 787 Dreamliner. As such, the technology provides significant performance gains in weight reduction while enabling the finish to be a fully strippable system. AERO has proven to be successful in the motorsports industry due to the ease of install, significant weight savings, and enhanced durability. For details visit http://rethinkpaint.com.
About AlphaClone ETF
Most investors can't conveniently access established hedge funds. AlphaClone's mission is to empower investors by giving them efficient access to the investment ideas of established institutional investors and hedge funds. Their research and portfolio construction approach, called "cloning", allows any investor to gain exposure to the alpha potential reflected in hedge fund and institutional manager public disclosures. As the AlphaClone name indicates, they seek to clone alpha through our proprietory "cloning" process and make it available to all types of investors. For details visit http://alphaclone.com.
About Pfaff Automotive Partners
Pfaff Automotive Partners, a leading Canadian automotive retailer, was founded in 1964. Its brand offering includes Volkswagen, Toyota, Audi, BMW, Porsche, McLaren, Singer Vehicle Design, Pagani, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Mazda automobiles, and Harley-Davidson motorcycles. It has a 50-plus-year racing history across many forms of motorsport. The company also operates Pfaff Tuning, Pfaff Leasing, and Pfaff Autoworks. For more information, please visit http://pfaffauto.com.
APR, LLC. is a global leader in performance aftermarket products for Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, and other vehicles. APR develops and manufactures hardware, software, calibration & data-logging tools for engine and transmission controllers, including intakes, exhaust systems, intercoolers, turbocharger systems, suspension, brake systems, wheels, and more. APR delivers software via a 24-hour automated global delivery system from its 78,000 square foot state of the art facility in Opelika, Alabama. For details visit http://goapr.com.
About The Race Day Foundation
The Race Day Foundation is a 501(c)(3) for-good foundation, offering children and families living with life-threatening illness a "day away" from their daily challenges. By harnessing the power of the racing and automotive communities, we are able to provide a uniquely empowering, hope-filled Race Day - a positive experience shared by patients, parents and siblings alike. Learn more at http://racedayfoundation.org.
Photo credits: “Sideline Sports Photography”. Rights granted for editorial use.