Danville, Vir. (13 September 2021) – With just three races remaining in the 2021 World Racing League (WRL) season, Round 3 Racing (R3R) returns to VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) for two eight-hour endurance races on September 18th and 19th.
The 2020 edition of the race weekend was a breakthrough weekend for the R3R squad as they claimed GP2 class wins in both races.
No. 605 Hagerty Drivers Club Porsche Boxster (GP3)
Leading the National GP3 Championship, the driver team of Jim Ptak, Carter Pease, Dennis Neel, and Cole Loftsgard look to continue its dominant run. Since the addition of the No. 605 Porsche to the entry list at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the team has collected a podium result at each of the last seven outings, including four class wins.
Prior to the weekend, Ptak familiarized himself with the ins and outs of VIR during the 24-hour ChampCar endurance race. The extra time in the driver’s seat resulted in a top 10 finish and prepared the veteran driver for the combined 16 hours of racing.
“VIRginia International Raceway is not only a gorgeous track but one that is a fun challenge for drivers,” said Ptak. “The Round 3 Racing Porsche Boxster is well suited for the technical aspects of the course. We all will have to be in the zone and on our toes for every turn, every lap, and every hour. Winning at VIR is a special thing and with my stellar teammates in Cole (Loftsgard), Carter (Pease), and Dennis (Neel) we have a chance at doing just that.”
No. 601 Team Sentinel Porsche Boxster (GP2)
Returning to the lineup is the No. 601 Team Sentinel Porsche Boxster of Christian Maloof, James Candelaria, and Hannah Grisham. After suffering terminal damage during the round at Daytona International Speedway, the Porsche Boxster underwent extensive repairs that forced the driver trio to miss the most recent race weekend at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
Just like the No. 601 Porsche Boxster, James Candelaria returns to the driver lineup for the first time since April. Candelaria has not been in the driver’s seat for an extended time after an on-track incident during a non-WRL test weekend forced the tech entrepreneur to the sideline.
Primed for a comeback, the Team Sentinel driver trio look to replicate results from 2020 where the No. 601 Porsche Boxster claimed victory in Race 2.
“While it was unfortunate to miss a race, the R3R crew had more time to spend on making the No. 601 Team Sentinel Porsche Boxster the best it can be,” said Maloof. “We have ground to make up in the way of championship points, but this team is more than capable in doing that this weekend. It is awesome to see James (Candelaria) back and I’m ready to get back out there with my teammates.”
No. 701 Team Cooper Tires Porsche Cayman (GP1)
Coming off their best GP1 result of third at Road Atlanta, the Team Cooper Tires lineup of Loni Unser, Mo Dadkhah and Mike Gilbert combine to continue the momentum gained since the introduction of the No. 701 Team Cooper Tires Porsche Cayman this season.
VIRginia International Raceway holds a special place in R3R’s team history as it was the site where Unser, Dadkhah and Gilbert secured the 2020 GP2 Eastern Championship – the maiden WRL championship for the Joilet, Illinois-based team.
Repeating history at the 3.27-mile course is the focus for the No. 701 Team Cooper Tires drivers.
“VIR means so much to us and to be back with my teammates makes it a special weekend,” said Unser. “Mo (Dadkhah), Mike (Gilbert) and I have worked each race at bettering the No. 701 Team Cooper Tires Porsche Cayman and that dedication that we have and the team has is paying off. We know what we are capable of at VIR and what this car is capable of. It will be a fun weekend that we hope to end by standing on the podium.”
No. 702 Team Hagerty Porsche Cayman (GTO)
The 2021 WRL season has challenged the No. 702 Team Hagerty Porsche Cayman of Sarah Montgomery, Brad McCall and Buz McCall. A mechanical failure at Road Atlanta forced an early retirement for the entry after leading a quarter of the 285-lap race.
Never lacking speed, Montgomery has taken over the overall lead on the opening lap in six outings this season in the No. 702 Porsche Cayman while regularly claiming the fastest race lap of the production car entries.
The Hagerty drivers persevere with rejuvenated focus heading into the race weekend at VIR.
“We have been challenged physically and mentally this season but we still have an opportunity for success,” said Montgomery. “Brad (McCall) and Buz (McCall) have built a program and team that sets us up for success. VIR has been good to us in the past and we will do whatever we can to get the No. 702 Team Hagerty Porsche Cayman to the front of the pack and hopefully on the podium.”
On-track action begins Friday, September 17th with practice and qualifying before two eight-hour endurance races on Saturday, September 18th and Sunday, September 19th. Live streaming will be available at Youtube.com/RaceWRL along with live in-car streams during each race. In-car streaming links can be found at twitter.com/round3racing.
Paige N. Grimmer