Spencer Pumpelly has claimed victory in Sunday’s Pirelli GT4 America Sprint race on the streets of Long Beach, in a controlling drive for TRG and Porsche.
Pumpelly took the No. 66 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport to a 0.687-second win over the No. 50 Panoz Avezzano GT4 of Ian James, who was unable to match the early race pace from the Porsche GT4 although closed the gap in the end.
While having qualified second, James saw Pumpelly dash into a commanding early lead.
The Englishman, however, managed to close the gap in the closing moments of the 50-minute race, courtesy of traffic and a stronger long-run pace from the Panoz GT4.
It marked Pumpelly’s first GT4 America Sprint race win of the season and has seen him take over the lead of the championship heading into next month’s double-header at Virginia International Raceway.
The No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop McLaren 570S GT4 of Michael Cooper completed the podium in third after a charge from seventh to fourth on the opening lap.
Cooper then got around the GT4 Am pole-sitting No. 51 Panoz GT4 of Matt Keegean for position, although Keegan’s fourth place overall finish was good enough to take top class honors.
Shane Lewis, meanwhile, completed the top-five overall in the No. 72 Robinson Racing Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R, ahead of James Sofronas, who made a cameo performance in the No. 14 GMG Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4.
The race was slowed twice for incidents on-track, including a lengthy full-course caution for the crashed No. 24 Ian Lacy Racing Ford Mustang GT4 of Frank Gannett.
It was followed moments after the restart for Nicolai Elghanayan, who nosed his MarcoPolo Motorsports KTM X-Bow GT4 into the barriers in Turn 1.
A number of other cars had close calls, including the No. 18 Andretti Autosport McLaren GT4 of Jarett Andretti, who went wide and brushed the Turn 1 wall on the second lap, although Andretti rallied to finish 2nd in GT4 Am and seventh overall.
Matthew Brabham and Gar Robinson, utilizing a backup Camaro GT4 chassis after an accident in practice, were eighth and ninth, respectively, with Drew Staveley completing the top-10.
Staveley started from the rear of the 20-car GT4 field due to a technical infraction to his Mustang GT4 in qualifying.