Sebring, Fla. (17 July 2020) – After qualifying well, leading the race and coming home with a podium result, Ben Waddell continued to impress in just his third IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race start on Friday. Sharing the No. 47 Stoner Car Care Hyundai Veloster N TCR, Waddell and Ben Papadopulos combined for a run to third place at Sebring International Raceway for Forty7 Motorsports.
The two-day event saw qualifying staged on Friday morning ahead of an early afternoon start for the two-hour Advent Health 120. Geared up to qualify the Stoner Car Care machine, Waddell worked through the 15-minute session to lock in a quick time and secure fourth on the combined-class race grid.
Waddell took the green flag for the opening driving stint, quickly making progress breaking into the top three in the first lap. Maintaining the front tires became critical to make use of the green flag.
The race was halted due to lightning in the area resulting in an hour and 15-minute red flag period. Strapping back into the No. 47 Hyundai, Waddell started on working his way towards the front, making a daring pass on a TCR and GS car to move into second. After moving to the TCR class point on lap 14, Waddell raced his way to third overall before turning the car over to teammate Papadopulos.
The No. 47 slotted back into third following the pit stop, as Papadopulos maintained the position through seven laps before weather became a factor, causing the final four laps to be run under yellow. Papadopulos brought the No. 47 Stoner Car Care Racing duo home in third as a yellow and checkered flag marked the end of the Advent Health 120. The third place finish was a strong reward for Waddell’s rapid adjustment to IMSA competition, as he claimed his first career IMSA podium appearance in just his third series start.
“The No. 47 Stoner Car Care Hyundai Veloster N TCR is an amazing car,” said Waddell. “I have had to adjust my racing style to driving a front-wheel drive car, but having the engineering support of Bryan Herta Autosport along with Forty7 Motorsports has been a tremendous help. The extra, specialized data helped us execute well this weekend. I was in the zone leading the TCR field, but we knew it was time to make a driver change and pit stop when our front tires started to fall off. It feels amazing getting our first podium of the season!”
IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge heads north to Road America for the Road America 120 – Round Three of the 2020 season on Saturday, August 1st.