May 4, 2014 — official release — IMSA photo — MONTEREY, Calif. – A would-be race for second wound up being the battle for the win in the GT Daytona (GTD) class in the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda after the GT Daytona class-leading Audi R8 LMS of Spencer Pumpelly ran out of fuel coming out of the famed Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Corkscrew on the final lap of Sunday’s two-hour race.
Pumpelly’s misfortune played right into the hands of Dane Cameron in the No. 94 Turner Motorsport BMW Z4 started by Markus Palttala. Cameron held off a hard-charging Christopher Haase in the final corner to pick up the win. Meanwhile, Pumpelly stopped approximately 100 yards short of the start-finish line for a heartbreaking sixth-place finish.
“If they were going to finish or not was outside of our control,” Cameron said of trying to catch Pumpelly, who held an 11-second lead at the white flag. “He was too far ahead to catch him on pace so my only concern was to maintain the [second-place] position and make sure there was no way the Audi was going to get around us.”
“Once I was clear of [Pumpelly] I was pretty sure I could get a good enough exit off the last corner. The Audi was quicker than us on top speed, but not until we came over the top of the hill [after the start-finish line]. I thought as long as he was beside us on the final corner we would be able to seal the deal.”
Cameron was able to do just that, beating Haase’s No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS started by Bryce Miller to the stripe by 0.168 seconds. Haase found himself battling Cameron for the win after Alex Job Racing’s pair of Porsche 911 GT Americas pitted for fuel from the second and third positions with less than seven minutes remaining.
Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh From Florida GTD winners Andy Lally and John Potter finished third in the No. 44 Magnus Racing Porsche 911 GT America.
An early-race spin forced Turner Motorsport to alter its pit strategy and top off its fuel with one hour remaining, giving them more than enough fuel to make it the distance. The same could not be said for Pumpelly who took the lead on the first round of pit stops and quickly went into fuel conversation mode, saving fuel for much of his one-hour, 17-minute stint.
“Everything said we should have been good, and now that we missed it by that little bit, I’m kicking myself for every [one minute] 31 [second] lap time that could have been a [one minute] 32 [second] lap,” said Pumpelly. “This is a new car for us, this our third race with it and there’s things we just don’t know yet. This is the first time we’ve been in this situation.”