With just two races left in the season, the Race for RP finds itself on familiar ground with the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship and Michelin Pilot Challenge making its season debut at the iconic WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, famous for its “Corkscrew” turn. For Race for RP founder, Nancy Linn, this track has a special significance, as it was the site of the 2017 RP Twilight Ride with Kyle Marcelli, one of the first events to raise awareness about relapsing polychondritis, and the subject of a subsequent production which garnered significant attention. Race for RP ambassador, Jeff Westphal, along with Tyler McQuarrie and the CarBahn Motorsports with Peregrine Racing team call this their home track as well, while Jon Morley, a local of San Francisco, will be on very familiar territory. Scuderia Corsa, who will compete in the series’ Sunday event, will have a home course advantage as they field the Raceway’s namesake No. 63 WeatherTech Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo.
Kyle Marcelli and Nate Stacy go into this round leading the championship with significant momentum. The co-drivers of the No. 60 Race for RP KohR Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage GT4 have had 4 podiums this season including a P2 at Sebring, P2 at Road America, and their breakthrough win(s) at Mid-Ohio. Stacy, who was recently selected to participate in the Aston Martin Driver Academy, has earned an impressive 4 poles so far this year, and is looking to secure the team’s position, where a top 10 finish in Saturday’s race could result in an insurmountable lead to GS Championship victory.
Westphal and co-driver, Tyler McQuarrie, are happy to be back on the west coast after a difficult outing two weeks ago at Road Atlanta. The defending 2019 GS Champions have had an impressive season overall in the No. 39 Audi R8 MLS GT4, with one pole, four podium finishes and a win in Round 2 at Sebring International Raceway, during the IMSA series’ return to racing in July. This weekend, the CarBahn Motorsports with Peregrine Racing team are looking for a strong performance and will be joined by Sameer Gandhi, who launched Peregrine Racing with Mark Siegel, making his season debut co-driving the No. 93 Audi R8 GT4 with Tom Dyer.
Jon Morley is ready to keep the pressure on the TCR class with co-driver, Gavin Ernstone as the Road Shagger Racing duo enter this round with three podiums to their credit and two wins, including the important season opener at Daytona. Jon has been an extraordinary representative of Race for RP and worked with Gavin Ernstone and Kelli Stavast to develop a discussion with the NBCSN broadcasting crew covering the most recent race at Road Atlanta. The broadcast included airtime featuring the Race for RP drivers, new research initiatives, and educated race fans world-wide about our motorsports awareness program. (Stay tuned for a special announcement and replay of this NBCSN video) After a recent Round 7 win at Mid-Ohio, there’s no doubt Jon and the team will push the No. 61 Simply Vegas Audi RS3 TCR around the Corkscrew with a podium in mind, and their sights set a championship opportunity.
Scuderia Corsa also has big plans this weekend, as they continue to fight for their series position after a spectacular class win in the Motul Petit Le Mans. The team has had an important impact on the Race for RP’s awareness campaign in the Ferrari Challenge series, where several teammates including series champion, Cooper MacNeil, have joined Neil Langberg carrying the Race for RP logo and driving awareness of relapsing polychondritis. With a home track advantage this weekend, Cooper MacNeil teams up with Alessandro Balzan who makes an exciting third season appearance for the sprint race, sharing driver duties in the No. 63 WeatherTech Racing Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo for the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race on Sunday, November 1.
Thank you, Race for RP drivers and teams, for your continued support driving awareness of relapsing polychondritis (RP) to accelerate research initiatives essential to improving the lives of patients with RP, a debilitating autoimmune disease. We are certainly grateful for your outstanding results in this highly competitive series and the media coverage this provides. Good luck in this weekend’s WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca 120 and the Hyundai Monterey Sportscar Grand Prix in this penultimate round of the IMSA series. The green flag in the Michelin Pilot Challenge drops Saturday, October 31 at 6:30pm ET streaming live on Track Pass NBC Sports Gold. Stay tuned for updates on our social media channels and follow us on Twitter @raceforrp for live coverage of the race.
About Relapsing Polychondritis
Relapsing polychondritis (RP) is a debilitating and sometimes fatal systemic inflammatory disease that is characterized by recurrent inflammation of cartilage and other tissues throughout the body. The disease affects multiple organs, particularly cartilaginous structures such as the ears, nose, airways and joints as well as eyes, skin, heart valves and brain. The cause of RP is unknown and there is no cure for RP. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/RP_Poster.
About Relapsing Polychondritis Foundation
The RP Foundation’s purpose is to facilitate education, awareness and research initiatives that improve the quality of life for patients with RP. For more information, visit https://www.polychondritis.org.
About Race for RP
Race for RP supports research and awareness programs for relapsing polychondritis and related diseases.