DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – C.J. Wilson Racing takes a pair of new Porsches to Lime Rock Park this weekend, seeking its first Grand Sport class victory as the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge opens the second half of its season as part of the IMSA WeatherTech Northeast Grand Prix.
Marc Miller and Danny Burkett co-drive the No. 33 ONE Capital Management/MotorOilMatters.org Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport for the team owned by Major League Baseball pitcher C.J. Wilson. The duo is riding a streak of three consecutive podium finishes, including second-place results at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Tyler McQuarrie and Till Bechtolscheimer share the team’s No. 35 Cayman.
“We are just past the halfway point of the season and I can look back at some frustrating ‘coulda, woulda, shoulda’ moments to grab our first win of the season,” Miller said. “When we look at things overall and where we sit after five rounds we know we can make improvements, we know we can execute better and luck is going to swing our way. It is up to us to find an edge somewhere and capitalize on the opportunities that present themselves over the next five races. Hopefully we can put ourselves in a position to do that and get that elusive first GS victory.”
Porsche’s new turn-key race car is already a winner this year in GS competition. Trent Hindman and Cameron Cassells won consecutive races at Sebring, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Watkins Glen in the No. 12 Bodymotion Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, but are fourth in the standings after missing the season opener at Daytona.
Multimatic Motorsports is coming off its second victory of the season, winning on its home turf at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park with drivers Scott Maxwell and Billy Johnson in the No. 15 Ford Shelby GT350R-C. The pair extended their GS class-leading margin to 10 points over Miller and Burkett, 158-148. Maxwell and Johnson also enter the race as defending GS champions at Lime Rock.
Spencer Pumpelly and Nick Galante have taken command of the Street Tuner class battle by winning at Watkins Glen and placing second at CTMP in the No. 17 RS1 Legistics/RickieFowler.com Porsche Cayman. They now lead Freedom Autosport drivers and defending class champions Chad McCumbee and Stevan McAleer by 14 points, 145-131.
“Every race from here on out is going to be critical,” said Pumpelly, who finished third at Lime Rock for RS1 in 2015. “We have such a competitive field. Of the 30 cars in ST, 20 of them can win on any given weekend. We were 10th in the championship last year at this point, and now to have the lead is a testament to the RS1 guys making sure Nick and I have mechanically sound and competitive cars every weekend.”
McCumbee and McAleer, drivers of the No. 25 Freedom Autosport ModSpace Mazda MX-5, are defending winners at Lime Rock. Freedom Autosport also won in 2014, with Connecticut driver Liam Dwyer scoring a popular victory three years after the Marine lost his lower left leg and sustained near-fatal injuries in combat in Afghanistan. Dwyer, a native of Waterbury who grew up in nearby Litchfield, is joined by Andrew Carbonell in the No. 26 SemperFiFund.org Mazda MX-5.
Ryan Eversley is set to return to the No. 93 HART Honda Civic Si, joining Chad Gilsinger, who is currently third in the ST standings.
Sarah Cattaneo and Owen Trinkler were ST winners at CTMP in only their second race in the No. 44 CRG-I Do Borrow/A&C Properties Nissan Altima Coupe. The pair – which won earlier this year in a Honda Civic Si at Sebring – are fourth in the championship, 25 points behind the leaders.
CREDIT: IMSA Communications