Shift Up Now Athletes Loni Unser, Hannah Grisham and Sarah Montgomery finished ninth, 12th and 16th, respectively in their different classes, driving for Round 3 Racing in the World Racing League (WRL) at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, June 5, 2021.
The 14-hour race was the WRL’s first single-day race weekend of the season.
Unser drove the No. 701 Team Cooper Tires Porsche Cayman in the GP1 class with teammates Mike Gilbert and Mo Dadkhah. The trio started in second place and worked together to take the class lead near the 200-lap mark. A wheel-speed sensor failure on lap 217 caused Gilbert to make contact with the turn-five tire barrier and ended the day early for the team in ninth place.
“There’s nothing anyone could’ve done differently about the wheel sensor,” said Unser. “It was just an unfortunate situation and the car ran fantastically up until that point. Losing the win was heartbreaking but this weekend showed us that we have the pace to put it in the lead every race. I’m so thankful to Round 3 Racing for all the hard work they put into the cars to make them ideal for endurance racing.”
Grisham teamed up with Christian Maloof and Oleg Gorshkov in the GP2 class, driving the No. 601 Team Sentinel Porsche Boxster. The team started the race in fourth place. In just the first stint with Maloof behind the wheel, an out-of-class competitor struck the Boxster, and pit lane repairs put the trio five laps down. On lap 35, an on-track incident sent the car into the outside barrier in the bus stop and ended the day for the team in 12th place.
“I didn’t get to drive the car on Saturday, so that was disappointing,” said Grisham. “We had a good starting position and sometimes you can’t control what happens on track. Every race weekend is a great learning experience so we’ll take this and move forward.”
Montgomery drove the No. 702 Team Hagerty Porsche Cayman in the GTO class with teammates Brad McCall and Buz McCall. The team worked together to keep the car clean and complete all 14 hours of the endurance race, with Montgomery driving the final stint. When the checkered flag fell, the trio finished P16.
“It was a little rough toward the end, pretty hot and sweaty, but we finished,” said Montgomery. “That’s what matters. I’d like to thank Hagerty and Team One Logistics and of course, Lafayette Travel. See you at Road Atlanta.”
Round 3 Racing is now preparing for the next two rounds of WRL racing, which will take place at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. The weekend will consist of two eight-hour races on July 16-18, 2021.