For Immediate Release- Jeff
Westphal had to pull double duty the weekend of the Watkins Glen 6hr Imsa race,
where he would be the 3rd driver in the #63 Weathertech Ferrari 488
GT3 as well as his full season commitment in the #39 Audi R8 LMS GT4 for
Carbahn Motorsport with Peregrine Racing.
Staurday was the second 4HR event in the Imsa Michelin Pilot Challenge season, and round 4 of 10 in the championship where season entrant Jeff Westphal would hope to build on his podium momentum from last race at Mid Ohio. After 3 hours of racing in the top 5, Westphal found himself in 3rd with 20 minutes to go. One minute later a deluge rainstorm hammered the 3.4 mile circuit in upstate New York, which caused a yellow flag/safety car period where some cars opted to pit for wet tires. The #39 Audi decided to stay out as the storm looked short lived and retain the track position. The conditions were treacherous as cars on dry tires (slicks) lost control at 40 mph behind the safety car the lap the race was returning back to green.
“I remember hearing over the radio, we’re committing to this strategy, you just need to hang on to it! Some cars behind went to wets, so keep an eye out for them coming up the field!” explained Jeff. “The green flag dropped with 15 mins to go, and all hell broke loose. I was aquaplaning while full throttle in 4th gear at over 100 mph while I was trying to race cars with an unknown to me tire advantage, balancing risk to defend them off, or let them go and not compromise the car. It was the hardest 15 mins of racing I’ve ever experienced.” Said Westphal.
With 6 mins to go, roughly 3 laps and Westphal’s Audi in 8th, the track developed a dry line since the rain had stopped, and the cars with wet tires began to overheat the super soft rain tires and loose a bunch of performance. Westphal diced his way back up to 3rd before the checkered flag fell on the 4hr race, which helped the team close in on the points lead of the championship. “I am so glad I have such a good team with Steve Dinan doing the engineering, the Carbahn motorsport guys in our pit stops and Tyler as my co-driver, it really was a team win for us today as the cars ahead had way more pace than the field today.” Elated Westphal.
Not 18 hours later Westphal was strapping in to the #63 Ferrari for Weathertech Racing and Scuderia Corsa where he qualified 4th for the 6HR race with regular season drivers Cooper Macneil and Toni Vilander. With no rain in the forecast, Westphal set his sights on a good opening stint where he could keep the car clean and try to make some ground on the competition. 1 Hour later, he did just that, moving up 1 spot into 3rd place before handing the car over to Cooper. Jeff rejoined the car after it led briefly with Toni at the 3HR mark to score points in the North American Endurance Championship, then pit to put Cooper in for his final stint. Westphal ran a fuel saving stint, matching the pace of the cars on track while saving .1 liter of fuel per lap, which gave us an advantageous fuel fill time at the next stop and allowed the #63 to pass 2 cars in pit lane from 4th to 2nd for Toni’s final stint of the race. The Ferrari factory driver put in a mega stint to fight the ultra fast BMW for as long as he could, but ultimately the BMW drove around the Ferrari 488 on the straight with superior BOP and Straightline speed.
“What a weekend we had, the team maximized our opportunity
with our BOP and scored some great points towards the North American Endurance
championship, as well as spraying some champagne because that never hurts! Its been a dream weekend for me, taking
what I was given and getting every drop from it to score some points in the big
picture and celebrate twice in one weekend, I can’t thank my teams, teammates
and technical partners enough for all their support, belief and trust in me”
described the Californian.
The next race is round 5 of the Imsa Championship, where Westphal will be in only his full season entry with Carbahn Motorsport and Peregrine Racing. He wont Join the Scuderia Corsa and Weathertech team until the season finale in Road Altanta, which doubles as the last round of the Imsa Championship for both cars.
Jeff Westphal Racing would like to thank its partners: