RS1 started its IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge GS class championship defense off in style with a dominant win at the BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona.
Spencer Pumpelly started after qualifying the No. 28 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR on pole while his co-driver Dillon Machavern put in a strong final stint to lift the car from third to the lead in the final 20 minutes.
The sprint to the finish was set up by the race’s fifth caution period which was necessitated by Austin Cindric’s stranded Ford Mustang GT4 with 29 minutes to go.
When the race restarted nine minutes later, Machavern wasted little time getting the car back to the point, passing Greg Liefooghe’s Stephen Cameron Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 in the second horseshoe, then drafting past the race-leading DXDT Racing Mercedes GT4 of Aaron Povoledo coming onto the front straightaway.
From there, Machavern cruised to a win by 7.101 seconds.
Tyler Cook took second place in the No. 82 BimmerWorld Racing BMW M4 GT4, passing Scott Maxwell’s No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 for the second spot with six minutes remaining.
Maxwell settled for third, followed by Jason Hart’s No. 72 Classic BMW machine in fourth.
The No. 5 Bodymotion Racing Porsche of Joe Robillard and Stevan McAleer was the closest rival to the RS1 duo but was shuffled to the rear during the last round of pit stops.
McAleer, who sparred for the lead on multiple occasions with Pumpelly throughout the race, brought the car home in 12th.
The No. 77 Compass Racing Audi R3 LMS TCR took the first TCR class win in the history of the series, followed to the line by teammate Kuno Wittmer in the team’s sister Audi TCR.
Murillo Racing rounded out the podium with its No. 53 Audi TCR driven by Matthew Fassnacht and Justin Piscitell.
ST class honors went the way of BimmerWorld Racing and the duo of Nick Galante and Devin Jones in the No. 81 BMW 328i.
Rounding out the ST podium was the No. 21 Bodymotion Racing Porsche Cayman of Max Faulkner and Jason Rabe and the No. 55 Murillo Racing Porsche of Tim Probert, Brent Mosing, and Piscitell who split his driving duties between the team’s TCR and ST entries and finished on the podium in both.
The race was slowed five times for incidents on track, the most serious of which was a four-car incident just after the halfway mark.
The problems began when George Kurtz in the No. 14 GMG Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4 spun in Turn 1 following a restart, partially blocking the track.
The No. 22 Multimatic Motorsports Ford GT4 came to a stop to avoid Kurtz, but Russell Ward’s Winward Racing Mercedes GT4 and Steven Phillips in the No. 99 Automatic Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT4 had nowhere to go and piled into the stopped cars.
IMSA announced that Phillips was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation as a result of the accident.
RESULTS: BMW Endurance Challenge