Cody Ellsworth had a great opening to the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car season this past weekend at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. After a last minute phone call Wednesday afternoon from Autometrics Motorsports, Cody booked a flight that night and was at the track at 7 am the next morning. Not only did he finish on the podium all three races, he also launched a charity campaign asking his fans and followers to pledge to the National Ability Center and PRISMS (Parents and Researchers Interested in Smith-Magenis Syndrome) if he was on the podium throughout the weekend. This was his first PWC race since his debut in 2013 at Lime-Rock Park.
After grabbing the pole on Friday afternoon’s qualifying session, Cody, in the #04 Porsche Cayman, had to drive a defensive and smart race to hold his position. Although he did not have fastest lap of the race, his race craft and experience gave him the opportunity to hold his front position and lead the race from flag to flag. Going into the second race, Cody would start from the second position being that the grid would be set by fastest lap in the previous race. The second race proved to be an exciting one with Cody having the front row seat to all of the action. In the first 5 laps, a Mazda driver attempted a pass on Cody, locked up the brakes and slid into his Autometrics teammate, Cory Friedman. Unfortunately, for Cory this would take him out of contention for this race but, fortunately for Cody, this gave him two less cars to battle with. With a late caution, the field bunched back up. On the restart Cody was shuffled back to 3rd place where he once again witnessed over aggressive driving with the two lead cars spinning each other out. Coming out victorious again in p1, he capitalized his second win by also receiving the Cadillac “Move Of The Race” award. Having a great first day at the track led to high expectations for the Autometrics team and Cody for the following day.
Going into a rainy and cold Sunday morning at COTA, Cody was looking to run a conservative and clean race. At this point he was the points leader and did not want to jeopardize this. Being two for two and looking to start fifth in the wet conditions, he ran a smart race; keeping his car clean even though it meant getting shuffled all the way back to 11th position at one point. 15 minutes into the race, he started to work his way back through the pack and finished on the podium yet again. Placing the worst he had all weekend, Cody finished p3 and had the second fastest lap of the race, behind teammate Cory Friedman in the Autometrics #03 Porsche Cayman.
His debut into the PWC 2015 season was a success. From bringing awareness about Smith-Magenis Syndrome to the racing community and being on the podium three out of three of the races, Cody had an excellent start. He is currently the PWC TC class leader in points. Looking to put together something for the rest of the season, he states, “I was so fortunate to receive the call to drive the 04 car at COTA this weekend. It makes me want to work even that much harder to make it to the next race coming out of Texas with a nice points lead.”
To stay up to date with Cody Ellsworth (www.CodyEllsworthRacing.com) and his racing career, follow him on Twitter and Instagram @EllsworthRacing and on Facebook like his page Cody Ellsworth Racing.