PJ Groenke: Road America Recap

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P.J. Groenke Racing competed in the Pirelli World Challenge Road America Grand Prix presented by Cadillac as part of the Verizon Indycar Series Kohler Grand Prix race weekend from Thursday, June 23rd to Sunday, June, 26th. The energy and excitement throughout the entire event was enough to give me goosebumps. Rocketing around the 4.048 mile, 14-turn Road America road course known as “America’s Nurburgring” is truly an awesome experience.

 

The Road America Grand Prix race weekend got underway with the Official Practice Session. The Verax.ca, Tundra, Clorox Pool&Spa Chevy Sonic presented by Cabano’s Comfort Food performed amazingly and I set the 2nd fastest lap time, just 0.375 seconds off of the fastest lap of the session. Qualifying took place later that day and unfortunately the transponder in my car (#25 Chevrolet Sonic) was not functioning. The Tech Sport Racing team informed the PWC officials who began timing me manually, but not knowing my current lap time was a major handicap. I was elated to later hear that we had set the 3rd fastest lap time.

Courtesy: PJ Groenke

Courtesy: PJ Groenke

 

Round 7 of the 2016 PWC Championship took place an hour and 45 minutes later with a rolling start. The green flag flew and I immediately moved behind my teammate Michael Johnson and began pushing him forward in our pursuit of the lead. Running nose to tail for the first 6 laps, things picked up from Lap 7 and on. Going from third to second, then to first, back to second, then to third, and back up to second. The top three cars swapped places almost every lap. After 40 minutes of the most amazing and intense racing I have ever experienced, we captured our best ever PWC finish with the Verax.ca, Tundra, Clorox Pool&Spa Chevy Sonic presented by Cabano’s Comfort Food in 2nd place, a mere 0.139 seconds away from the win!

 

Check out all the action via Replay XD through the below link:

 

https://vimeo.com/172504131

 

Round 8 began with the traditional PWC standing start. This was a difficult race as the Verax.ca, Tundra, Clorox Pool&Spa Chevy Sonic presented by Cabano’s Comfort Food was down on power as the TCB competitors ahead of me slowly crept away. Determined to make the most of the race I pushed myself harder than ever. They would pull away on the straights and I would catch up through the corners. I passed the 4th and the 3rd place competitors on Lap 6 and maintained the gap from the top two as best as possible until a full course yellow on Lap 10. This would let me close the gap and hopefully gain positions through the closing laps, but it also allowed the TCB competitors which I had a very comfortable gap on to catch up. With two laps remaining the green flag flew and the chaos ensued. Four cars wide across the start/finish line, a freight train of TC and TCA cars passing us in-between many competitors giving their last ditch efforts. In the end P.J. Groenke Racing and the Verax.ca, Tundra, Clorox Pool&Spa Chevy Sonic presented by Cabano’s Comfort Food greeted the checkered flag finishing in 3rd place capturing our fifth straight PWC podium finish!

 

Check out all the action via Race-Keeper through the below link:

 

 

P.J. Groenke Racing and the Verax.ca, Tundra, Clorox Pool&Spa Chevy Sonic presented by Cabano’s Comfort Food are currently leading the 2016 PWC Touring Car B Championship standings! With two more PWC race weekends and four more races to go it will be a hard fought battle to the end, especially as the 3rd and 5th place TCB competitors will be racing for double points during the final race weekend as a result of opting for that rather than racing at Lime Rock Park.

 

P.J. Groenke

pjgroenkeracing.com

@pjgroenkeracing

About P.J. Groenke

P.J. Groenke has been racing professionally in Canada since 2001 and across North America since 2013.  Highlights of Groenke’s racing career include winning the 52nd Annual Indian Summer Trophy, finishing as a semi-finalist on Discovery Channel Canada’s Star Racer in 2006, and sweeping the Canadian Touring Car Championship races at the Vortex Brake Pads 200 race weekend with back-to-back victories in 2011.  Most recently, Groenke finished 6th in the 2015 Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car B-Spec Championship with one top five finish,15 top ten finishes, and an Invisible Glass “Clean Pass” of the race award.

P.J. Groenke is sponsored by Verax.ca, Tundra Technical Solutions, Clorox Pool&Spa, Cabano’s Comfort Food, Clairhaven Ltd., Martinrea International Inc., Pelto Agri Investments, Ro-Ro Property Management Corp., and Warp Speed Computers Inc.  Other sponsors include ARS Access Restoration Services, Affinity Luxury Car Rentals, Alpha Laboratories Inc., Amsterdam Brewery, Desson Manufacturing Ltd., Diplomat Trucking Ltd., Eventscape Inc., Payne Capital Corp. & Hawthorn Equity Partners, and Proprint Services Inc. For more information, please visit www.pjgroenkeracing.com.

Tony Tellez

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