Porsche Takes CJ Wilson Racing To First GS Victory In Oak Tree Grand Prix At VIRginia International Raceway
Saturday, August 27, 2016

Mother Nature played havoc at VIRginia International Raceway during Saturday’s Oak Tree Grand Prix, but CJ Wilson Racing stepped up and came through with its first Grand Sport (GS) victory in Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge competition.

Marc Miller took the lead shortly after a race restart with 46 minutes remaining and pulled away to victory in the No. 33 ONE Capital Management/MotorOilMatters.org Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport started by Danny Burkett.

“Honestly, it feels like winning the championship,” Burkett said. “We’ve had some trouble along the way, a few issues with our new car. We’ve changed our fueling position twice. The crew has been doing an awesome job, but it hadn’t been our day. But today, at a cold, wet, hurricane, rainy VIR, it was our day. But I tell you, when the rain started beating down on my windshield, it was completely unnerving.”

After a sunny morning with temperatures in the low 90s, conditions changed dramatically shortly after the green flag. Drizzle during the early laps suddenly turned into a surprise thunderstorm, with the deluge bringing out a red flag 31 minutes into the race. Action was halted for 52 minutes, followed by an additional 31 minutes of caution. Once racing resumed, the final 23 laps were run under the green under drying conditions.

While Miller gradually pulled away following the restart, the battle for second was fierce in the closing minutes. Billy Johnson held off Trent Hindman’s late charge to preserve second place for the No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Shelby GT350R-C started by Scott Maxwell, finishing 4.509 seconds behind the lead. As a result, Johnson and Maxwell unofficially lead Burkett and Miller by 20 points – 260-240 – with only two races remaining.

“We didn’t quite have the car to win it, but second is good for the points towards the championship,” Maxwell said. “We were biding our time in the early laps, and then it was just a matter of trying to survive with the rain.”

Hindman and Cameron Cassels took third in the No. 12 Bodymotion Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, and remain third in the standings with 219 points.

NOTEBOOK

  • The victory was the first for Burkett in Continental Tire Championship competition, while Miller is a three-time winner in the series.
  • CJ Wilson Racing had four victories in ST competition before moving exclusively to the GS class this season. Their most recent victory was at Lime Rock in 2015 for championship-bound McAleer and McCumbee.
  • “This is why we work so hard,” said winning team owner C.J. Wilson, pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. “The tough races and close finishes have been difficult to take but so happy for the crew – the way we have evolved as a team is definitely something to be proud of. Danny and Marc have been great all year in the Porsches and to be able to stand on the top step of the podium with a race win is the biggest step we have taken all year. We have to look forward to our next race at COTA and I can't wait to see everyone in the paddock. All of our partners that have gotten us to this point should feel just as proud, they're a big part of this win too!”
  • “We tried our best at the end,” said Hindman, a three-time winner this season. “It was challenging, because the track conditions were constantly changing. I knew there were championship implications if Billy and I got into it, so I just wanted to race him as clean as possible, but as hard as possible.”
  • Round 9 for the Continental Tire Challenge will be at Austin’s Circuit of The Americas on Friday, Sept. 16.

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