CarBahn with Peregrine Racing faced the trials and tribulations of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca but still persevered.
The No. 39 Audi R8 GT3 LMS leaves Round 7 of the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup with a plethora of new lessons learned. Drivers Richard Heistand and Jeff Westphal rounded out the action-packed weekend at the team’s home track with a seventh-place finish due to an aggressive competitor at the start; not necessarily the desired result, but still priceless as the team continues its pursuit of maximum development in its maiden GTD season.
The No. 39 and Heistand experienced early luck as the car was advanced to fourth place in qualifying after an ahead competitor was disqualified. However, the luck ended there as Heistand was challenged by a competitor pushing him off track and two drive-through penalties, causing him to spend the remainder of his stint pushing the machine to its limits. This relentless driving along with the No. 39’s strong setup allowed him to make up a considerable amount of lost time before handing the car over to Westphal with one hour and 45 minutes remaining.
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca serves not only as the teams’ home track but Westphals’ as well. This granular knowledge of the 2.24-mile, 11 turn course, allowed him to continue Heistand charge up the field, but a lack of full course cautions would make a total recovery unobtainable. Ultimately, he was able to bring the No. 39 home in seventh place, a solid finish for the hand the team had been dealt.
The No. 39 Audi R8 GT3 LMS remains in California for its next round of the IMSA WeatherTech Sprint Cup on the streets of Long Beach, September 24-25. With three events remaining in the championship the team is on its final stretch to maximize its knowledge of the R8 GT3 LMS platform.
Richard Heistand, Driver of the No. 39 Audi R8 GT3 LMS
“Another tough one for us,” Heistand said. “I think we struggled a bit more than we have recently in terms of setup on the car and balance. The good news is once we got in the race the car was the best it had been all weekend. It’s a shame because I think we had a competitive race car, but I got pushed off the track in Turn 4 by a competitor that didn’t get a penalty for it, even though it looked intentional from my perspective. It looked subtle enough to get away from it, but the intent was there. After that, we got a tick-tack penalty for the restart. Then I thought my pass was set up, certainly no intentional contact, but my competitor turned in on me so they wouldn’t lose a position. That resulted in him spinning out and us making light contact and ultimately another penalty. That second penalty basically ended our race. The initial push off the track started it all but we’ll move on from here. Next time we come here we’ll have a strong car to start and that’s really how you win races.”
Jeff Westphal, Driver of the No. 39 Audi R8 GT3 LMS
“Laguna Seca is always a low grip circuit,” Westphal said. “The CarBahn with Peregrine Racing Audi was handling really well. Something everyone has to deal with here is tire degradation, and by the end you’re really backing it into corners, sliding it in sideways, and trying not to slide too much to keep the tire alive. We had a little bit of a situation at the beginning of the race where we got a drive-through or two. We had really good pace all race, we were just on heels trying to get up in the mix of it. I had a fun race, it’s always a pleasure to drive for this program and see all the fans and everyone who is out here to cheer for the Audi R8.”
Source. CarBahn Motorsports with Peregrine Racing