Shift Up Now Athlete Loni Unser, along with teammates Mike Gilbert and Mo Dadkhah, stood atop the podium in the World Racing League (WRL) GP2 class on Saturday at the 2.4-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
Following a podium finish at the last race (Barber Motorsports Park) and driving the No. 601 Team Cooper Tires Porsche Boxster for the eight-hour endurance race, Unser took the opening, two-hour stint. She resolutely kept the car in contention before handing the wheel to Gilbert for the second stint. Dadkhah finished out the race, which ended under caution, and brought home a victory for the trio.
Hannah Grisham, another Shift Up Now Athlete, earned a fourth-place finish in the GP2 class with teammates Christian Maloof and Mike Smith. Driving the No. 604 Sentinel Porsche Boxster, Grisham ran a three-hour stint in her first WRL event with the Round 3 Racing team.
“It was really fun driving the Boxster today,” said Grisham. “We have a predictable car and with a good team like Round 3 Racing, made our on-track efforts that much more successful. I did a three-hour stint, which is the longest I’ve ever been in a car at one time, but I learned a lot and I’m really excited to get to do it again tomorrow.”
A third Shift Up Now Athlete, Sarah Montgomery, brought home a fifth-place finish with teammates Brad McCall and Buz McCall in the No. 702 Hagerty Porsche Cayman. Montgomery drove the opening stint and advanced to second place in just the opening laps, then lead 25 laps. She then took the final stint and crossed the finish line in fifth.
On Sunday, each of the Round 3 Racing entries lead their class, although the results didn’t reflect the effort.
Despite fighting to get the No. 604 Sentinel Porsche Boxster to the front of the GP2 field, an on-track racing incident on lap 172 moved Grisham’s team back to sixth place at the checkered flag.
Montgomery once again advanced the No. 702 Hagerty Porsche Cayman into the lead during the opening laps of her stint – and held P1 for 46 laps – but sudden weather conditions made for an unpredictable track, and the team finished Sunday’s race in P11.
Unser and her teammates had high expectations following Saturday’s win, and started Sunday’s race in contention. On lap 70, the No. 601 Team Cooper Tires Porsche Boxster was diagnosed with a mechanical failure and forced to retire early.
Over the course of the weekend, all three Shift Up Now Athletes set the fast time of the day in their respective cars: Unser on Saturday, Grisham on Sunday and Montgomery on both days.
As the Round 3 Racing teams look forward, their sights are set on Road America for the next round of the WRL season. The weekend at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin will feature two eight-hour endurance races on Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 9, 2021.