Spencer Pumpelly has had one of the most diverse seasons of GT racing in North America, from racing GT4-spec Porsche and Audis to a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo and most recently Audi’s R8 LMS GT3 Evo in the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup rounds for Team Hardpoint.
The championship-winning driver is set for arguably his highest-profile drive of the year in this weekend’s Indianapolis 8 Hour, with Pumpelly set to share driving duties of Team Hardpoint WRT’s Audi with factory driver Markus Winkelhock and Mirko Bortolotti.
In this week’s Pirelli Paddock Pass, we catch up with Pumpelly to get his thoughts on the opportunity in the U.S. leg of the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli as well as recapping his busy year of GT racing.
How excited are you to be part of Audi’s factory-supported GT3 lineup for the Indianapolis 8 Hour?
“Extremely! This a a great opportunity for both me and Team Hardpoint to compete on a global stage against some tough competitors.
“I’m looking forward to and and it’s good to be back co-driving with Markus for the first time since Daytona 2014 when we had quite the interesting finish to the 24.”
How do you envision the collaboration between WRT and Team Hardpoint working? And what does this honor mean for Hardpoint?
“You will see a tremendous effort from the Team Hardpoint side of things. It has been a crazy year in a lot of ways but trying to start a new team during a global pandemic has meant double the challenges for everyone.
“They have been putting in the work all year and I’m excited for all the guys.
“The WRT collaboration will be a great learning opportunity for all of us as they bring a wealth of experience and success. It is an honor for Team Hardpoint and they will be ready to both learn and execute.”
You’ve tested at Indianapolis, although in a GT4 car. Do you think that track time will help in any way?
“I have run this track in several different configurations over the years dating back to the first time Grand-Am tested there.
“The test helped for sure but the GT3 car won’t react the same to setup changes. The testing helps but we will still have work to do.”
It’s been a busy year for you between racing with GT3-spec Audi and Lamborghinis in the WeatherTech Championship and the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport in Pirelli GT4 America. Do you find it difficult to jump between the different cars?
“You’re forgetting the GS Audi GT4 Rob and I race this season! Let’s just say on more than one occasion I have had to ask the pit box how to reset fuel.”
What are your plans looking like for 2021 or is it too early to say?
“It’s an odd year because while those conversations typically start around August, this August we were only three races into the season.
“Even to this day we have a lot of racing left to do but the off season is going to be short so the conversations are starting.”