Barber Motorsports Park – Birmingham, AL
Posted In Apr 8, 2020
World Racing League (WRL)
March 7-8, 2020
Shell-Round 3 Racing
Shift Up Now took the stage at the World Racing League event in March 2020 with drivers Loni Unser, Sarah Montgomery and honorary Shift Up Now Ambassador Michael Gilbert competing in the Shell Round 3 Racing, Porsche Boxster.
The team arrived at the track to a promising forecast of sunny, but chilly weather for the weekend. The paddock area was set up on Friday night, however, before the race weekend began, teams were required to ‘draw straws’ for their starting position in Saturday’s race. Following the drivers meeting, Shift Up Now Founder and CEO, Lynn Schultz Kehoe, who was there to watch and cheer the team on lined up for the drawing. There must have been some luck in the air, as Shift Up Now was very fortunate to draw a starting position of P1! The Round 3 Racing/Shift Up Now (R3R/SUN) team was set to start the race the next morning.
With a chilly wind blowing, Sarah took the green flag and settled into a steady race pace. Her first driving stint was riddled with many caution flags from on track incidents though, which caused the team to seriously re-think their race strategy. The numerous caution laps had led to Sarah achieving a much better fuel consumption rate than projected. The team made the on-the-fly decision to change overall race strategy from three driver changes to a two driver change race. At the end of her three-hour stint, Sarah handed the car to teammate Michael in P2 (in class). Michael did a great job of holding position and keeping the car safe throughout his stint. Loni hopped in the car and much of the race continued with the same circumstances as Sarah’s stint had been, with many yellow flags. Consistent driving by Sarah, Michael and Loni brought the car home to the checkered flag, finishing the Saturday race on the podium in third place.
Sunday’s race would prove to be very different. Michael started the race in the R3R/SUN Porsche Boxster, then handed it off to Sarah approximately two hours into the race. A few laps into Sarah’s stint, she noticed a bit of power loss due to what she thought was a fuel starvation issue. The team had just filled the car full of fuel, so she knew there had to be some sort of problem. Luckily, at the end of Sarah’s stint, Round 3 Racing was able to narrow the issue to a faulty air flow sensor, which they quickly fixed, allowing Sarah to get back on track to finish her stint before handing the car over to Loni for her flawless stint. Coming back in the pit for the final driver change had Sarah get back in the car one final time to finish the race in fifth position.
Thank you to Shell, Round 3 Racing, OMP and Cooper Tires for their help!