Ford Shelby, Porsche Cayman Take Winning Momentum To IMSA Continental Tire Challenge Oak Tree Grand Prix At VIR
Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Multimatic Motorsports and RS1 added to their respective IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge class leads by winning the recent event at Road America, giving both teams added momentum entering Saturday’s Oak Tree Grand Prix at VIRginia International Raceway.

Scott Maxwell and Billy Johnson scored their third consecutive victory – and fourth of the season – at Road America in the No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Shelby GT350R-C. They now lead the Grand Sport (GS) class by 23 points, 228-205, with only three races remaining in the 2016 season.

Danny Burkett and Marc Miller finished sixth at Road America in the No. 33 CJ Wilson Racing ONE Capital Management/MotorOilMatters.org Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport. They were running second, but needed a late stop for a splash of fuel, ending a streak of four consecutive podium finishes for the second-place team in the standings.

“With only three races left, we’ve got to swing for the fence,” Miller said. “We’ve gone through a few races where we’ve fallen short of doing what we needed to do to stay in the title chase. Now we’ve got to try to win every race and hope that the Mustang team has similar issues to what we’ve had. It seems we’ve had one issue that’s kept us off the top step of the podium in every race. We’ve got to eliminate that.”

Three-time 2016 GS winners Cameron Cassels and Trent Hindman placed fifth in the recent race and remain third in the championship with 189 points. They co-drive the No. 12 Bodymotion Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.

Rob Ecklin returns to the Automatic Racing lineup at VIR, driving the No. 99 Invisible Glass/Rogue Engineering/Melbourne BMW/Red Glare Records Aston Martin Vantage, while Charles Espenlaub and Charlie Putman share the team’s No. 09 Aston Martin.

ST Points-Leading RS1 Porsche Adds Lally To Lineup

Spencer Pumpelly will be getting a “wingman” for the Oak Tree Grand Prix in his bid to extend his lead in the Street Tuner (ST) class. With Pumpelly and Nick Galante holding a 14-point lead in the No. 17 Legistics/RickieFowler.com Porsche Cayman, RS1 added Andy Lally to the team’s No. 18 Cayman, joining Phil Bloom. The team also fields the No. 19 Cayman for Connor Bloum and Greg Strelzoff.

“This will be an extremely important weekend for the championship,” said Pumpelly, the 2015 VIR ST winner for RS1. “If we have a bad weekend, there’s not a lot of time to catch back up. We go into the race with high hopes and big expectations, but we know it’s a really tough series and there’s always a fight every weekend. I’m excited to have Andy as my teammate. He’s going to be running towards the front, and maybe he will put some separation between us and the No. 25 car.”

Pumpelly and Galante have 208 points, while Stevan McAleer and Chad McCumbee – drivers of the No. 25 Freedom Autosport ModSpace Mazda MX-5, have 194. Eric Foss and Jeff Mosing, drivers of the No. 56 Murillo Racing Porsche Cayman and 2014 ST winners at VIR, are third with 166 points.

NOTEBOOK

  • Guy Cosmo helped Team TGM to its first podium finish of the year when he joined Ted Giovanis in finishing third at Road America in the No. 64 JKTG Foundation/Camp Boggy Creek Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport. Cosmo will drive for the remainder of the season for the team. Cosmo was the 2003 STI class winner at VIR for Duane Neyer Motorsports, giving him two victories in his first two starts in the series.
  • BimmerWorld Racing and Next Level European enter VIR as the local favorites. The teams are based in Dublin, Virginia, less than two hours from VIR. James Clay of Radford, Virginia and Tyler Cooke of Matthews, North Carolina. drive the No. 84 OPTIMA Batteries BMW 328i, combining for three TOTAL Pole Awards and four top-10 finishes this season.

"I have driven, tested, and raced at VIR extensively for the duration of its modern history, and it is a special track,” Clay said. “It's an amazing place to drive, with features that are exciting and intense. It's one of my favorite tracks to race and one of the best in the country for spectators to watch a race from a variety of scenic vantage points. VIR is not only our home track, but it’s also a special place for us.”

BimmerWorld also fields the No. 81 BMW 3278i for Jerry Kaufman of Mooresville, North Carolina and Englishman Kyle Tilley. The satellite Next Level European team has the No. 38 Porsche Cayman for Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers, and the No. 83 Red Line Oil Cayman for Ari Balogh and Greg Liefooghe.

  • C360R team owner Karl Thomson was worried when he assessed the damage to the No. 76 AERO Advanced Paint Technology/Children’s Tumor Foundation/Ford Performance Ford Shelby GT350R-C following an incident on the second lap at Road America.

“Every panel except the driver’s door and the roof was damaged, and we initially thought we needed a new front clip,” Thomson explained. “But the guys did an incredible job. They pulled out all the stops, and now it looks like nothing ever happened.”

Drivers Paul Holton and Pierre Kleinubing remain fourth in the GS standings.

  • Alara Racing will debut a second car at VIR, with 2013 ST champions Mike LaMarra and Terry Borcheller reunited in the No. 43 Mazda MX-5. Borcheller filled in for Alara in the team’s No. 34 Mazda for one race this season, finishing second at Lime Rock.
  • Chad Gilsinger and Ryan Eversley return in the No. 93 HART Honda Civic Si. HART also fields the No. 92 Civic, with Cameron Lawrence co-driving with Kevin Boehm.
  • Continental Tire Challenge practice will begin on Friday at 10:25 a.m. ET, with qualifying at 6:35 p.m. The two-hour, 30-minute Continental Tire Challenge race will take the green flag on Saturday at 1:55 p.m. ET, following IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship qualifying. The race will be streamed live on IMSA.tv and the IMSA mobile app at 1:55 p.m. ET, and will be broadcast on FS1 at 10 a.m. ET on Sunday, September 4.

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