Shift Up Now Athlete Sally McNulty earned a fourth-place finish on Saturday and a fifth-place finish on Sunday in the TC America powered by Skip Barber Racing School series at Road America on August 19-20, 2023.
McNulty began her weekend strong, running in the top five during Friday’s practice under perfect weather conditions. As a result, she was confident heading into qualifying on the iconic, 4.048-mile, 15-turn racetrack.
The 15-minute qualifying session took place on Saturday morning. McNulty secured a fifth-place spot on the starting grid, less than a half-second off the fourth-place car’s time. Temperatures rose as the day went on, bringing warmer conditions for race one on Saturday afternoon. The start was clean from the three Touring Car classes. However, less than a minute into the 40-minute competition, a first-lap incident in the TCX class brought the race to a halt. The field was regathered by the full-course caution.
A concrete barrier repair eventually brought out a red flag to stop the clock. When the barrier was shifted and the field returned to green-flag racing, McNulty had just over 20 minutes to work her way forward.
Five minutes later, another TCX car made contact with a barrier, causing another full-course caution. When the field finally went green for the final time, five minutes remained in the race.
On the first lap of the restart, the third-place car fell out of podium contention, allowing Sally to challenge for the spot. Then, with just one lap remaining, she pushed the P3 car right to the finish line and just narrowly missed the third podium spot.
“I went for a pass in the last corner on the last lap of the race, but there just wasn’t a way through,” McNulty said. “I finished fourth and got myself an overall top-ten, which I’m happy with, but a little more time and it could have been another podium. Tomorrow we race again.”
On Sunday, the grid for race two was set by the fastest laps from race one, putting McNulty fifth again.
Just over ten minutes into the race, when the third-place car fell back into fifth, McNulty moved into fourth place. However, Perocarpi was able to work his way through back the field to the third step of the podium.
McNulty was right on the bumper of the car ahead for all forty minutes of green-flag racing and once again finished less than a second behind the third-place car. Her second top-five finish earned her the right to hold onto a fifth-place spot in the TC Class Championship with 83 total points, just 11 points behind the four-place competitor.
“I had the pace and showcased my consistency again this weekend, and I fought hard to try to convert that into more podium finishes following my successes at VIR,” said McNulty.
“I’d like to thank Bell Techlogix and all my sponsors, along with the Hyundai GenRacer Crew and Ricca Autosport, for supporting my season. You all know I’ll be gunning for those podiums at Sebring!”
TC America powered by Skip Barber Racing School returns to competition at Sebring International Raceway on September 22-24, 2023.