Spencer drove with us for the 24 Hours of Daytona
Spencer Pumpelly is widely known as one of the most talented drivers on the North American sports car circuit. Regarded as a Porsche specialist, Pumpelly has competed at the top levels of sportscar for over a decade, garnering multiple victories in the American Le Mans Series and GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, including two GT class wins at The Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.
Born in Arlington, Virginia, Spencer grew up in a racing family. His father, Tom, was an avid sports car competitor throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, leading to Spencer’s own enthusiasm for the sport. Going a somewhat different route than many of today’s professional drivers who started at a young age in karting, Pumpelly didn’t actually begin his racing career until his first visit to the Skip Barber Racing School as an adult. Attending James Madison University full-time, Pumpelly’s racing exploits didn’t completely begin until he’d graduated in 1998 with an economics degree.
Following college, Pumpelly’s ascension to high-profile sports car driver is the result of years of dedication and hard work. Starting later in his career than most, Pumpelly held many duties early in his career, including working as a driver coach for the Skip Barber Racing School, private instruction, and starting his own team.
Running for multiple teams in the GRAND-AM ranks as well as American Le Mans Series, Pumpelly took multiple victories driving for an assortment of teams from 2000-2005.
In 2006, Pumpelly would get his biggest break yet, driving a Porsche GT3 996 Cup car with TPC racing to take a surprise victory at the 2006 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona. Later that season, Pumpelly ran his first race in Daytona Prototypes at Infineon Raceway, and closed the season by driving his first event with famed GT team TRG (The Racer’s Group), taking a victory at the season finale and aiding teammates Andy Lally and Marc Bunting to clinch the 2006 Rolex GT drivers’ championship.
The 2006 Rolex finale began a six-year long relationship between Pumpelly and TRG. Driving in the GRAND-AM Rolex GT series, GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge and American Le Mans Series GTC category with TRG, Pumpelly became a regular fixture on the podium. Most notably, Pumpelly’s relationship with TRG added a second victory at The Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona (2011), a podium at the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring (2011) and more than a dozen victories in all three categories.
In 2011, Pumpelly made his first trip to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with GT powerhouse Flying Lizard Motorsports. So pleased with his contribution was the team, that they invited him back for the 2012 edition of the French classic as well. The Le Mans partnership quickly grew into a full-time ride for Spencer with Flying Lizard Motorsports for the 2013 season.
Pumpelly’s experience is varied beyond sports car. He has raced in the stock car ranks, including a near victory in ARCA/Re-Max series at New Jersey Motorsports Park, a test in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, as well as several late model events.
Beyond his own on-track performance, Pumpelly is also a very sought after coach and driver development specialist. As gifted in teaching as he is behind the wheel, Pumpelly has been a co-driver to multiple first-time victors in the professional ranks, including drivers: Duncan Ende, Steve Bertheau, and Bob Doyle.
Off the track, Pumpelly enjoys life in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife, Lindsay Pumpelly and their new son Ryder, born in November of 2012. A vegetarian for over 10 years and a devout vegan for the last two, Pumpelly is passionate about his diet and fitness and also supports multiple causes related to animal rights. When he’s not in a race car or with his family, you might be able to find him behind the controls of a helicopter.