The Brief

​Holding their own
Sep 23, 2017

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LAGUNA SECA, CALIFORNIA — There was a lot riding on the penultimate race of the 2017 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge for the Legistics/Rickie Fowler/RS1 team at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

The race (on driver Nick Galante’s home track in Monterey, California) would be the culminating event of the first-ever Racing to End Alzheimer’s initiative to raise funds for Alzheimer’s research. Instead of its usual team and sponsor logos, the #17 Porsche Cayman would be sporting a dramatic new livery emblazoned with the names of individuals whose lives were forever altered by Alzheimer’s disease. With Legistics CEO Phil Frengs covering all expenses associated with the charity, 100% of the proceeds would be donated to the search for a cure. And awareness of the battle to end the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease would be ratcheted up with every turn around the track. The team was excited to be part of such a meaningful and highly anticipated event.

At the same time, the #17 was under enormous pressure in the standings. In second place with just two races remaining in the season, the team knew that their powerful Porsche would be at a disadvantage on this small track with the kind of tight turns and short straights better suited to more nimble cars. The previous three years, Mazdas had dominated the podium. Adding to the tension was the fact that this would be the first time the race would clock in at four hours – a serious test of endurance and strategy at a juncture when drivers, crews and cars were all feeling the wear and tear of their long, roller-coaster season.

Driver Nick Galante qualified the #17 in the 11th spot despite the nimble field. He had a good start and held his position through the first hour of the race. In a tight battle with a BMW and a Mini Cooper, Galante outmaneuvered the challengers and moved up two crucial positions. After a perfectly executed pit stop at the halfway point, co-driver Spencer Pumpelly sprang into action, working his way from 9th position to 7th by the end of the race. With that solid result, the #17 narrowed the gap on the championship leader, the #56 Murillo Racing Porsche Cayman, which finished in 13th place.

But a 16-point gap remained. And the #17 team would need everything to come together perfectly in their final race to defend their 2016 championship title.


Another wild ride
Aug 26, 2017

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ALTON, VA — With the championship title still in their sights, the RS1/Legistics/rickiefowler.com team headed to Alton, Virginia, and the challenging 17-turn, 3.27-mile road course at Virginia International Raceway. The heat was on – both in terms of the fiercely fought Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge battle for points, and the weather forecast for the final weekend of the summer.

Proudly displaying the livery of the nonprofit Racing to End Alzheimer’s Foundation*, driver Nick Galante started the race in the 8th position on the grid. Heading into turn one, Galante found himself all over the bumper of one of the Mazdas. Lap after lap, he kept the pressure on but couldn’t find a way to get by. About 40 minutes into the race, a GS McLaren shoved past the #17 Porsche Cayman at the apex of turn 12, damaging the passenger door and nearly knocking the car off course. Fighting to maintain control, Galante forged ahead into the fray. It was then that he spotted the #56 of Jeff Mosing and Eric Foss, the team’s chief rivals for the top spot in the season championship.

Focusing on the game at hand, Nick closed the gap with the #56 and made the much-needed pass. But then it was déjá vu all over again as Galante found himself riding the bumper of the same Mazda that had plagued him earlier in the race. Seeing an opportunity to try for the pass heading into turn one, Nick went for it. He was a little late on the brakes and almost collided with one of the Mini Coopers ahead. The #17 wound up in the grass momentarily – and the #56 blazed back by!

At this inauspicious point in the race, a full caution was called and a safety car was deployed for a disabled car on the track. As the minutes ticked by and frustration mounted, the #17 began to stumble. The motor was choking – the car was running out of gas! Galante nursed the car into the pits for an emergency fuel stop, no driver change allowed. Galante would have to go back around again before turning the hot seat over to Spencer Pumpelly.

Galante dove into the pits for a second time and Pumpelly took over. The veteran driver went on the attack, clawing back position after position. He hunted down and passed the #56 in the same spot between turn 11 and 12 where he’d overtaken the rival car the year before. By the time he ran out of time and track, he’d fought his way back to a respectable 7th place – in yet another wild ride in a spectacularly wild season.

* The #17 Porsche Cayman will be emblazoned with the names of individuals affected by Alzheimer’s disease at the penultimate race of the 2017 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge in Laguna Seca on September 23rd. The first annual Racing to End Alzheimer’s event will raise much-needed funding for Alzheimer’s research, care and outreach. For more information, visit r2endalz.org.


IMSA.TV highlights Racing to End Alzheimer's
Aug 23, 2017

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We're excited that the IMSA has picked up on our Racing to End Alzheimer's campaign and has posted an article about it on their website. We've also gotten support from PGA golf star Rickie Fowler via Instagram.

Traffic to our website is up and the excitement is building as racing fans look forward to September 23, when the corporate sponsor logos will be removed from our championship #17 Porsche Cayman and replaced with the names of their loved ones who have been victimized by dementia.

Help us fight this terrible disease that affects 5 million Americans and many millions of their family members, friends and caregivers. Show the world that you care on national television when the race is broadcast via Fox Sports on FS1. Go to r2endalz.org and add the name of someone you care about to our car. Thanks!


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.