Round 3 Racing Brings Home A Hard Fought Second Place Finish

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Round 3 Racing Brings Home A Hard Fought Second Place Finish

Team battles varying weather conditions to earn top finishes over the two-race weekend

Lexington, Ohio (11 April 2022) – After a weekend that saw everything that both the competition and mother nature had to throw at them, including snow, hail, rain, and sun, Round 3 Racing (R3R) brought home a top-five and a top-ten finish in the Grand Touring Open (GTO) class on Saturday. The weather had cleared out on Sunday to set the stage for a strong run to second place in the GTO class for Round 3 Racing to close out the weekend.


Starting on pole, Cole Loftsgard opened the race onboard the No. 401 Hagerty Motorsports BMW M4 GT4. It was snowing as the green flag flew, making for a wet racing conditions. Loftsgard managed to keep pace through the tricky conditions for three hours before Brad McCall took over the wheel for Loftsgard in fifth.

McCall made the most of the drying track to move back through the field to the front. With three and a half hours left in the eight-hour race, Sarah Montgomery jumped into the driver’s seat ready to go with slick Cooper tires. Unfortunately, it soon started raining and the team added an extra pit stop for wet tires as the No. 401 BMW fell to seventh.

But Montgomery is not one to give up, and a hard charge in the closing moments of the race saw her run down the car in front as she made the pass for fifth just one lap before the checkered flag.

On Sunday, the weather cleared out as the No. 401 team started in sixth place. Montgomery was behind the wheel for the first stint as the race went to a red flag soon thereafter.  When the track went back green, Montgomery quickly jumped two spots, to race in fifth.

Following another brief full course yellow, the Hagerty Motorsports BMW stayed out on track, gaining two more spots, placing the car in third. At the three-hour mark, McCall took over the controls for Montgomery. Halfway through the eight-hour race, the No. 401 was running fourth. McCall then pitted to turn the car over to Loftsgard, who was able to gain an additional two positions to bring the car home with a second-place finish.

“We fought through adversity this weekend,” said Loftsgard. “There were a couple of points in this race where I thought we were in trouble. But the crew delivered excellent pit stops, whether they were scheduled or unscheduled, in addition to great strategy. Brad, Sarah, and I put in tough and gritty drives. So, to come away with a podium, good points, and a car in one piece is a proud moment and a definite victory for us. Now we need to keep this momentum rolling into Road America!”



Christian Maloof started Saturday’s race in sixth with snowy conditions in the 609 BMW M4 GT4. Maloof battled for three hours facing a wide range of weather conditions before turning the car over to Brian Ghidinelli as the No. 609 team sat in eleventh position. Continuing the battle against the weather, Ghidinelli focused on hitting his marks. With three hours left in the race, Maloof jumped back into the hotrod in tenth as the sun was starting to come out. Maloof was able to keep the position as he took the checkered flag in tenth.

On Sunday, the second eight-hour race took place under clear blue skies. Ghidinelli started in the No. 609 in the ninth position. Thirty minutes into the race, a red flag came out after a Porsche Cayman barrel rolled in front of the Sentinel BMW as Ghidinelli raced in 12th position.

Once the track went green again, he quickly jumped five spots, and by the time he came in to hand the BMW to Candelaria, Ghidinelli had the car in P1.

Candelaria kept the car in top positioning before passing the BMW over to Maloof. Unfortunately the charge was stalled after the No. 609 was hit in the left rear, forcing the car down pit lane. While the other car got a penalty, the trio found no solace in the lost track position. Ultimately as Maloof looked to bring the car home, a late pit stop with under an hour to go revealed that three wheel studs had come out of the rear wheel, forcing the team to retire the No. 609 in fourteenth.

“This weekend was wild – racing in the snow, cars flipping in front of me, and then leading much of the race only to retire in the last hour,” said Ghidielli. “Thanks to the Round 3 Racing crew for spotting the issue and keeping us drivers safe. We showed we have front-running pace and will be back at Road America for another shot.”



After some careful consideration on Saturday morning, both the drivers and owners of R3R decided it was best for the No. 701 Cooper Tires Porsche Cayman to stay in for the day’s activities due to weather conditions. The Cayman piloted by Loni Unser, Mo Dadkhah, and Zack Ping did see the slick course for nine laps later on that day. The team was able to work out some issues they had noticed on Friday during practice.

On a brand new sunny day on Sunday, the No. 701 Porsche started the race in fourth. Unser raced the car for the first stint. After the red flag stop, the Cooper Tires Porsche Cayman stayed in fifth. Three hours into the race, Ping took over the wheel for Unser and started driving his way through the field. Halfway through the race, the team was back up to fourth. Dadkhah soon took the wheel and drove up to second with two hours remaining. Unfortunately, with less than twenty minutes left in the race, a connecting rod broke and forced the team into the garage for the remainder of the race.

“This weekend had a lot of highs and some very low lows,” Dadkhah. “The last stint, we were battling for second place, and the car felt great; we were in fuel safe mode. Comfortably we were in third place and still competitive, closing in on second place. But something in the engine went; we later found out a connecting rod went through the block, which is a pretty big engine failure. I thought the car was on fire. Thankfully it wasn’t, and the damage was contained to the engine itself. We’re really bummed because the car was great. The crew was great. We had a really good shot at a second or third place today, but we’ll come back stronger at Road America.”



Unfortunately, the No. 705 Hagerty Drivers Club Porsche Cayman did not run in either of the two races after an incident in the first practice. The Cayman, set to be shared by Carter Pease, Dennis Neel, Jim Ptak, and John Collier, was involved in a single-car incident during the first practice on Friday morning. Thankfully Ptak, who was driving the car, walked away unharmed, but the car had severe damage and was not able to compete in the remainder of the event.

The four-driver team will bring back a Porsche Boxster competing in the General Productions 3 (GP3) class for the remainder of the season.

Round 3 Racing will compete in just four short weeks at the National Park of Speed, otherwise known as Road America, located in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The team will field two BMW M4 GT4s, a Porsche Cayman, and a Porsche Boxster during the doubleheader weekend. The fourth World Racing League powered by Hagerty event will take place May 6th – 8th.