Lexington, Ohio (28 September 2020) - Coming to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for Round Five of the IMSA Prototype Challenge (IPC), Jr. III Racing was aiming to continue its run to the top ten after scoring three top ten finishes so far this season. Unfortunately that did not transpire, but the effort and fight to the finish was displayed by both Greg and Eric Palmer who came home 12th on Saturday. Just recently announcing being the first to take delivery of the new-specification 2021 Ligier LMP3, Jr. III Racing was hoping to continue its growth with the current generation Ligier in IMSA competition. The IPC race was just part of Jr. III Racing’s big double event weekend, with the team’s vintage racing arm at Virginia International Raceway competing in the SVRA Heacock Classic Gold Cup.
Two rounds of practice preceded IPC qualifying on Saturday morning at Mid-Ohio. Father and son, Greg and Eric Palmer focused on utilizing only 75-minutes of track time to make the most of qualifying in the No. 3 Copps Industries Ligier. Set for qualifying duties, Greg Palmer posted the 11th quickest time of the session - 1:24.458-seconds - and placed the No. 3 Ligier on row seven for Saturday’s one hour, 45-minute main event. Eyeing another top ten finish, Greg Palmer wasted no time getting there. Lap one saw Palmer make a move to tenth which he held for the first laps of the race. Falling back to eleventh didn’t hinder Palmer’s charge back to the top ten. With constant updates on pace from the pit stand, Palmer was laying down faster sector times than the 10th place running car. Palmer continued to put lap times down that were a half of a second quicker as he worked to close the gap. While doing so, Greg also built a 12-second gap to the car behind before pitting on Lap 38 from fifth to put Eric in. Back out into the fray in 11th, Eric Palmer utilized the remaining 50-minutes of the race to get back into the top ten. Racing hard through traffic and on track incidents, Eric drove a clean, heads up race. With encouragement coming from the box, Eric continued to improve on his sector times each lap around the 2.258-mile course. Coming to the checkered flag, Eric Palmer brought home the No. 3 Copps Industries Ligier 13th. “We thought Mid Ohio was giving us a break when it didn’t rain which is very unusual but the track still proved to be tough - you never get a moments rest,” said Greg Palmer. “The car was great but the track still manages to change and grip levels were variable from session to session based on which car was on track before us. Our plan was to keep the car clean to be able to hand it off to Eric and see where we landed after the driver changes sorted out.
“We are both continuing to learn the car and tracks so each week is a big learning lesson for us, continued Palmer. “I know we both are getting faster and more comfortable with the car but the driver experience level in our series is deep so the results don’t come as fast as we would like. We have to keep pushing ourselves and training to get there.” The next outing for the Palmer pair will be at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta for the Petit Le Mans Race weekend on October 15-16.
Media Contact: Maddie Komar