GTWC America Acura NSX GT3 Evo
- Rodrigo Sales
- Matt McMurry
Season-low finish caps off second season of GTD with McLaren 720S GT3
Monterey, CA – Compass Racing rolled into WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca – the team's home track for this season now that they are fully California-based – with high hopes for a good finish to the end of the second season with their McLaren 720S GT3 in IMSA’s GTD competition. Certainly, they'd had some good performances over the year – including two pole positions – and hoped to close out what has been a decidedly odd 2020 with a solid result.
Sadly, it was not to be. Jeff Kingsley, in his second race subbing for new father Corey Fergus, joined Paul Holton in the No. 76 Richard Mille entry, which proved to be quick in practice, with Holton fourth fastest.
Kingsley qualified a respectable seventh, just 0.7 seconds out of first, and in a good position on the fourth row. Jeff held his own on the start, despite the GTD field being somewhat strung-out, and settled into a rhythm. It was soon apparent that the car was down on power, with a Lamba-sensor issue. As the team worked to solve the problem with their remote engineering crew in Woking, Kingsley slipped down the order. Pitting just after the pit window opened at 45 minutes, the crew executed an absolutely perfect pit stop, with driver change, tires and fuel being completed in 33 seconds. Holton continued to work to solve the issue, which saw the GTD leader behind in the closing stages of the stint. Mindful of an incident earlier in the year at Mid-Ohio with the same car, Holton put up a valiant defence to stay on the lead lap, but conceded when it was clear it was a pointless fight. A final pit stop was taken, with new tires fitted, but it was for naught. A power steering line ruptured with 20 minutes to go, and the team felt it unsafe to continue. The No. 76 retired, an unfortunate end to what was a solid second season for the McLaren.
“A huge thank you to our crew and drivers this season,” remarked Team Owner Jill Beck. “Paul, Corey and Jeff were sublime behind the wheel, and we’re working hard on having them all back with us next year. It’s been an odd year, to be sure, but we proved our resilience and look forward to 2021."