The Brief

Riding out the storm
Aug 9, 2017


ELKHART LAKE, WI — Rain was in the forecast (again!) for the weekend of August 4-6 in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Having won on the world famous Road America course the previous season, team RS1/Legistics/rickiefowler.com was looking forward to a repeat performance on a track normally well suited to the powerful capabilities of their #17 Porsche Cayman. But unpredictable weather can lead to unpredictable results.

The first practice session of the weekend was canceled due to torrential downpours. The remaining two practice sessions commenced under soaking conditions, with teams only able to get in four laps in dry conditions to set up their cars for what was predicted to be a dry race.

Driver Nick Galante, proudly displaying the r2endalz.org livery to promote the nonprofit Racing to End Alzheimer’s initiative*, laid down some decent laps in the first ten minutes. On his best and final lap, Galante was set to jump from 10th to 7th when power suddenly cut out to his car as the checkered flag was flying. A fuel pump delay bled seconds from his time, costing the team a couple of spots on the starting grid.

Slipping and sliding

At the start of the race, all teams were on dry slick tires, relying on predictions that the still-wet track would dry out quickly after the light rain. It was a mismatched start, as many cars slipped and struggled to keep up with the pace car. Galante quickly found his pace and was able to hold his ground in the challenging conditions.

Just as the track was starting to dry, another brief shower re-soaked the course. The RS1 team opted to stick with their initial strategy and stay out on dry tires. It was a great call – as the track dried, Galante pressed his advantage and moved up from 8th to 6th position.

A little more than halfway through the race, an eager Spencer Pumpelly was readying to take over the wheel and claw back some points in the championship fight. Galante, now up to 4th place, headed toward the pits for a driver change and full service. Just 200 feet before Galante hit the pit lane, the track went into a full course caution for two cars disabled on the track. With the pits closed, all cars on the track did caution laps behind the pace car as black clouds loomed overhead.

Racing to End Alzheimer's #17 gets checked out during practiceSuddenly the race officials called all cars to the pit lane, placing the track under a red flag due to lightning in the area. Just as the cars reported to the pits, the skies opened up with a heavy downpour. Thunder clapped and lightning flashed as the stranded drivers rode out the storm in the parc fermé area, unable to receive assistance from their crews.

After 30 minutes in their hot and oppressively humid cars, the drivers were informed that the race was officially being declared over. The RS1 team would have to settle for a 4th place finish in this dramatic and unusual “lightning round” of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.

Up next: Virginia International Raceway on August 26th.

* There’s still time to honor the people in your life who have suffered from Alzheimer’s disease with a unique remembrance sponsored by the non-profit Racing to End Alzheimer’s Foundation. For a donation of $250, their names will be featured on the #17 RS1/Legistics/RickieFowler.com racecar during the penultimate race of the 2017 season. For more information, visit r2endalz.org.


Up against the odds
Jul 30, 2017

2017 Limerock Pitcrew 960Px

LAKEVILLE, CT — Every racetrack has its own distinct “personality” and unique quirks. Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut, is the shortest course (just 1.53 miles) of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. It’s also the only track where all but one of the seven turns are right hand turns. That makes the track unusually tough on the left side tires of all of the cars. It also means that the track tends to favor the nimble and lighter cars, relegating horsepower to secondary importance.

Team RS1/Legistics/RickieFowler.com arrived at Lime Rock Park on July 22nd knowing they had their work cut out for them. With only a week to prepare for the race, teams were all feeling the pressure of being on the road so often in the heart of this busy season. But the #17 team had the added pressure of knowing that their powerful Porsche Cayman would be at a disadvantage right from the start.

Driver Nick Galante headed out for qualifying with an extra measure of determination, knowing that every tenth of a second would affect crucial grid position. Galante laid down a great lap to secure the 8th starting position next to the rival #56 Porsche of Jeff Mosing and Eric Foss, which qualified at 7th. All of the cars that qualified in front of these two Porsches were lighter cars, primarily the nimble Mazda MX5 Miatas.

Nick started the race well and was able to pick up a spot before turn one, moving up to 7th. The #56 had some first lap contact and went down for repairs. Meanwhile, Galante was being hounded by fellow racer Liam Dwyer in the #26 Mazda. The two ran nose to tail for almost an hour, with Dwyer trying every trick in his repertoire to get by. About halfway through the race, Galante made his move up to the 6th spot.

With the Mazdas running strong in the 1,2,3 positions, Team Legistics decided to go with a strategic roll of the dice. They opted to pit, do a driver change, fill fuel and replace only the left side tires to save precious time. Hot shoe Spencer Pumpelly exploded out of the pits, eager to give the Mazdas a run for their money. Moving through the field, from 6th to 4th, Spencer was closing in on the 3rd and 2nd place cars when time simply ran out.

The #17 would have to settle for being the fastest Porsche on a day when the odds were truly stacked against them. The team was well satisfied with the result – they were able to claw back some valuable points and move back into 2nd position for the season championship.


In a striking contrast, the next race will be August 4-6 in Elkhart Lake, WI at Road America, the longest track of the season. Team Legistics, sporting their Racing to End Alzheimer’s* livery, will be looking good in more ways than one.

* The non-profit Racing to End Alzheimer’s Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for the cutting edge research, treatment and support services that will end the scourge Alzheimer’s disease once and for all. For a donation of $250, the name and hometown of a person you want to honor — a current sufferer or someone you’d like to remember — will be featured on the #17 RS1/Legistics/RickieFowler.com racecar during the penultimate race of the 2017 season. For more information, visit r2endalz.org.


Over the border and through the woods
Jul 18, 2017

Mosport Trees Blur 960Px

ONTARIO, CANADA — After the dramatic roller-coaster ride of the Watkins Glen race, the RS1/Legistics/@RickieFowler team shifted their sights north to the fast and fierce Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario. Third in points for the season, the team needed a good result to stay in the fight with the #56 car of Mosing and Foss.

Despite having had just a week to regroup after the ups and downs of the previous race, drivers Nick Galante and Spencer Pumpelly – and their #17 Porsche Cayman – were firing on all cylinders. Galante qualified in 9th place, his best showing yet at this notoriously tough track. Pumpelly, one of the fastest drivers in practice, was eager to get back behind the wheel and show what he could do.

Galante had a difficult start to the race as the field bunched up and scrambled the flow. There was contact and a spin ahead on the exit of turn one. Nick was forced to check up, narrowly avoiding the melee. Determined to regain his position and work his way to the front, Galante passed a car in turn 2, and another in turn 3. On the entry into a fast turn 4, he saw an opportunity on the outside and went for it. With the turn 5 right-hander quickly approaching, Galante saw himself running out of road and had to hit the curb in an attempt to avoid contact with the opposing car. Despite his best efforts, the left rear of the #17 struck the car on the outside, causing a flat.

Galante limped back to the pits, where the team quickly replaced the wheel and sent him back onto the track. The #17 had a lot of catching up to do. At the halfway point, during a caution for a car off in turn 3, Galante was given the signal to get into position behind the pace car and the leaders. Unbeknownst to him, the officials determined that he acted too soon and passed a car under caution.

Galante headed to the pits for fuel, tires and a driver change. Spencer Pumpelly hopped in, determined to make up for the very tough first half. It was then that race officials called in the bad news that the #17 would have to take a drive-through penalty for passing a car under caution. This was yet another frustrating setback for the team and its strategy. Despite everything, Pumpelly did a great job clawing for every point, working his way from nearly last place up to 11th. The team did salvage some points for the season but has already set their sights on the next race of this hotly contested series at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut on Saturday, July 22nd. Can't wait!

And to learn how you can help and honor a loved one by Racing to End Alzheimer's, head over to r2endalz.org !


A race to remember
Jul 14, 2017

Watkins Glen Rain 960Px

WATKINS GLEN — After a 7-week break in the 2017 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, the RS1/Legistics/@RickieFowler team was eager to attack the track at Watkins Glen International Raceway in beautiful upstate New York.

Leaders in the point standings – and winners of the Watkins Glen race in 2016 – drivers Nick Galante and Spencer Pumpelly got off to a blazing start in practice. Not only were the drivers looking fast, the car was looking fast too, with a bold new livery promoting the nonprofit Racing to End Alzheimer’s initiative*.

Rain was in the forecast and on everyone’s mind. Just before Galante headed out for the qualifying session, a light shower soaked the track, but it was drying quickly as Nick aggressively used the curbs to lay down some good laps. Nearing the end of the session, driving all out, Galante set a new qualifying lap record! Beating the record previously set by Marc Miller in 2014 by .17 seconds, this was Nick’s first professional pole position – and a great start to the weekend!

On race day, the #17 and the #56 of Jeff Mosing and Eric Foss battled early for position, slightly gapping the remainder of the field. About 45 minutes into the race, the rain came back with a vengeance. Cars started to slip and slide, struggling to stay on the track. After a couple of cars crashed, race officials brought out the red flag, halting the race until the deteriorating conditions improved.

Within 10 minutes, the race resumed under a standing yellow caution as the cars navigated the track and tested the conditions. At this point, the pits were opened and most of the drivers, including Galante, headed in. The team decided to forego a tire change in a bold attempt to grab the lead from the #56. Spencer Pumpelly was belted in, the car was quickly fueled, and the #17 beat everyone out of the pits and into the top position.

The track was now dry and the restart was underway. Pumpelly was in the lead for the next 8 laps. After a couple of good passes from the #56 and two of the top Mini Coopers, Pumpelly was pushed back to 4th. Running solidly towards the end of the race, with just 3 crucial minutes remaining, the car started to slow. A low fuel pressure alarm came on, and the #17 was unable to continue – a tough end to a promising start.

The team still scored valuable points and was only pushed back to 3rd place in the overall Championship rankings – with many an exciting race still to come!


*Dedicated to raising money and awareness for Alzheimer’s research and care, Racing to End Alzheimer’s was set up by Legistics CEO Phil Frengs, with support from pro golfer (and fellow #17 sponsor) Rickie Fowler. The organization is providing donors with a unique opportunity to honor loved ones who are battling or have battled Alzheimer’s disease.

With a $250 donation on the website r2endalz.org, the name and hometown of each honoree will be emblazoned on the #17 during the penultimate race of the series at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on September 23rd.