MADISON, Wis. (May 29, 2014) – In a 72-hour span over Memorial Day weekend, Kelly Moss Motorsports completed this checklist of tasks:
✔ Raced in the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama on Saturday at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut.
✔ Hosted the inaugural Cruise-In/Custom Car Show at Brat Fest in the company’s hometown of Madison, Wisconsin.
✔ Packed its trucks to head to Watkins Glen International in upstate New York to prepare for a Porsche Club of America event on May 30-June 1.
✔ Finished a year-long, custom rebuild project of a car at the team headquarters in Madison.
A busier weekend than normal? Definitely not. Kelly Moss operates at full throttle all the time to deliver results for its race teams and its many other automotive-related businesses.
“We’re lucky to have a great team behind us, and together we are able to keep it all together,” Kelly Moss Vice President Jeff Stone said. “It’s what we do. It’s not a hobby. It’s our life and our entire focus.
The busy week started Tuesday, May 20 when Kelly Moss trucks rolled out of Madison for the 16-hour drive to Lime Rock Park in northwest Connecticut. The crew then prepared the pit space for the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama weekend.
Setup is not an easy task. Two awnings and an awning extension are erected. Wall boarding to mark off the team’s polished, professional hospitality area is built. Electronic equipment, radios and televisions are prepared for use. Cars, tool boxes, 35 to 40 sets of Yokohama tires are unloaded. And an RV with a trailer carrying spare cars and parts is parked and prepared for possible use.
The team, sponsored by Brey-Krause, had a challenging weekend at Lime Rock. Lead driver Colin Thompson’s Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car required hasty repairs to its front bumper and radiator after going off track before qualifying. The team was working on repairing the car before qualifying, but time issues directly affected the outcome.
“IMSA decided to move qualifying 20 minutes ahead without consulting with teams to see if that was a viable option for all,” Stone said. “That decision without our input was the deciding factor for the outcome of our race and did not give us a level chance with the rest of the field to qualify well in dry conditions.”
Series points leader Thompson finished fifth in Race One on Saturday, May 24 after he was bumped off track in a fierce battle for position. His Platinum Cup teammate, Dan Weyland, finished 15th. Kelly Moss Gold Cup drivers Frank Selldorff and William Peluchiwski finished ninth and 10th, respectively.
The team hoped for redemption in Race Two later Saturday afternoon, but IMSA made the decision to abandon the race due to heavy downpours, standing water and a local curfew.
“Racing in the rain would have been a big mistake, and I think they did the right thing calling it for safety’s sake,” Stone said. “It was a reasonable result and to be able to leave still at the top of the points standings is good.”
Kelly Moss is one of the most professional, successful operations in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama paddock. But the team was even more speedy and efficient when packing up Saturday night at Lime Rock Park, as team officials dispersed in different directions.
Stone immediately left for a flight to return to Madison. He needed to be back for Brat Fest Sunday morning. Kelly Moss was sponsoring the inaugural Cruise-In / Custom Car Show at the world’s largest bratwurst festival.
For more than a month, Kelly Moss officials and crew had planned for this event in front of thousands of attendees, including gathering entries and making custom trophies.
There were 40 cars in the show, ranging from modern GT cars, Porsche sports cars and a wide array of custom hot rods. The show was a huge attraction for Brat Fest and yet another successful venture for Kelly Moss.
“The car promoter has already asked us to do it again next year, but with 400 cars,” Stone said. “They are building a new area just for us to use and a bridge to get there. It was an extremely successful car show with record attendance.”
While Stone hustled from Lime Rock Park to Madison for the car show at Brat Fest, there wasn’t much time to waste for the Kelly Moss race team even though the next Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama race isn’t until June 26-29.
The Kelly Moss trucks left Lime Rock on Sunday, May 25. But instead of heading home to Madison, they drove northwest to set up shop at Watkins Glen International for the Porsche Club of America Clash at the Glen this weekend.
There are six Kelly Moss entries, including cars for three of the drivers that raced at Lime Rock. It doesn’t hurt that the next GT3 Cup Challenge USA event also is at The Glen.
“It’s a great opportunity to get some more time at the track,” Stone said. “And we’re going to be working on developing our strategy for the next jump in Cup points. On top of all of that Porsche club racing is still a very important part of what we do for our clients.”
Another truck and trailer was loaded over the weekend in Madison and sent it on its way to join the rest of the crew at Watkins Glen. Stone and other team officials flew from Madison to upstate New York on Tuesday for the Watkins Glen event this weekend.
Stone, other team officials and the hard-working Kelly Moss crew spent last weekend and early this week criss-crossing the airspace and highways of the Midwest and Northeast for events, logging thousands of miles.
Another group of Kelly Moss employees never left the shop in Madison over the weekend but also flourished under similar work demands and pressures.
Racing is the centerpiece of a diverse array of successful automotive-related businesses for Kelly Moss Motorsports, including the Kelly Moss Body Shop, Kelly Moss Auto Service, the Stone Brothers’ Garage and many more.
Last weekend, one particular project was atop the to-do list. A year ago Kelly Moss was approached about rebuilding a KMR-RSR 001, a Porsche 993. The car had not been raced in several years. The goal was to get it top-race form by Memorial Day weekend of 2014.
Kelly Moss built the car back in the day to compete against factory 993 RSR’s. Kelly Moss used the Porsche Motorsport engine and gearbox from the 993 RSR, but everything else was bespoke; the premise and goal was to beat the factory cars with the same drivetrain. The story goes that when the cars rolled off the transporter at Road America in Wisconsin, the KMR-RSR’s were five seconds per lap quicker than the factory 993 RSR’s. Soon after, the KMR-RSR’s were banned from pro racing.
Five Kelly Moss employees worked around the clock from Wednesday to Saturday last weekend to finish this extreme rebuild, making sure everything was perfect. The owner flew in from his overseas home Saturday to see his dream machine unveiled.
“It was a truly special moment for both of us, as it has been a big part of each of our lives for the last year,” Stone said. “Having built the car originally myself almost 20 years ago, it was great to see someone so enthused in such a very special project. He was really blown away. And that’s our goal, but our next thought automatically goes to what can we do on the next one to make it even better, the best we’ve ever done. But with this one it was a definitely an extreme build, and we can’t wait to see it out on the track.”
Chances are that will be much sooner than later. Kelly Moss is equally at home winning at racetracks across North America as it is performing award-winning quality work for its customers in Madison.