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Michelin Pilot Challenge

Pumpelly, Hardpoint Audi GT4 Tops Roar Test

Team Hardpoint tops IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge pre-season test at Daytona…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Spencer Pumpelly in the new Team Hardpoint operation topped the time charts in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge pre-season testing at Daytona International Speedway.

Pumpelly’s 1:53.555 lap time set in the No. 31 Audi R8 LMS GT4 during Sunday morning’s penultimate session of the weekend ended up nearly four-tenths clear of the competition in the GS class.

Pilot Challenge competitors had six sessions over the three-day test ahead of the season-opener on Jan. 24.

Pumpelly edged out the No. 7 Archangel Motorsports Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport of Trent Hindman by 0.377 seconds, with Eric Foss third quickest in the No. 56 Murillo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4.

All three of the quickest times came in Session 5, which saw considerably cooler temperatures.

The No. 33 HTP Winward Racing Mercedes of Indy Dontje, which posted the quickest time in Friday’s opening session, wound up fourth quickest in GS, followed by Austin Cindric, who made it four different manufacturers in the top-five in his No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4.

Bryan Herta Autosport’s Gabby Chaves, meanwhile, paced TCR in the No. 21 Hyundai Veloster N TCR.

Chaves, who was confirmed on Friday as a new full-season driver with the team in its expanded three-car lineup, reeled off a 1:59.222 in Sunday morning’s session.

The Colombian was only one of three drivers to break the 2:00 barrier in TCR, with the Audi RS 3 LMS TCR cars from Stephen Simpson (JDC-Miller Motorsports) and Alexandre Premat (Team Premat) completing the top-three in class.

Among the notable incidents to occur included an accident by Sheena Monk in the No. 95 RENNtech Motorsports Mercedes GT4 and the No. 47 Forty7 Motorsports Hyundai of Dario Cangialosi in Session 5.

Both cars were reported to have returned to the pits after a coming together, although it did result in a lengthy red flag.

A total of 38 cars were listed to take part in the test, which was optional for Pilot Challenge competitors.

RESULTS: Roar Test (Combined)

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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