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Additional Races Planned for Ford NASCAR Drivers

Ford’s NASCAR drivers set for expanded, partial-season program in Continental Tire Challenge…

Photo: Wes Duenkel/Ford

Additional races beyond this month’s season opener at Daytona are planned for Ford’s NASCAR drivers, which could complete the balance of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season in Ford Mustang GT4s.

Sportscar365 has learned that the Multimatic-run effort has been tabbed for a minimum six-race program that will include outings at Sebring, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Lime Rock Park, Road America and Road Atlanta, with additional races possible.

The schedule, which is subject to change, will feature a rotation of Ford Performance NASCAR drivers Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, Cole Custer and Ty Majeski, who will be joined by road racing veteran Scott Maxwell for the four-hour race at Daytona.

Driver combinations for the four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge, or additional races this year, have yet to be determined.

Former GS class champion Maxwell, who is helping mentor the four rising stars, is also expected to be part of the lineup rotation throughout the season, that could feature a two-car effort at selected races.

“They’re all super talented, naturally talented guys,” Maxwell told Sportscar365. “There’s not a lot I can tell Austin [Cindric] because he has a lot of road racing experience, but the other three are pretty new to it.

“They have the natural talent, they have the speed, it’s just sort of unlocking it and showing them how to change their driving styles a little.

“Beyond Daytona, these guys have busy schedules so I’ll be filling in for whoever can’t make it at those races.”

The expanded Multimatic/NASCAR effort is in addition to the Multimatic-run No. 8 Ford Mustang GT4 Chad McCumbee and Patrick Gallagher, which is confirmed for the full season.

Maxwell on Influx of Mustang GT4s

Maxwell has been pleased with the influx of Mustang GT4s in Continental Tire Challenge this year, following a solid first year of competition.

Ford is the most-represented GS manufacturer at the this weekend’s pre-season test at Daytona, with seven Mustang GT4s taking part.

“They’ve done a really good job,” Maxwell said. “The car is easy to drive. It’s fast, affordable, relatively speaking if you look at some of the competition, and the proof is in the pudding: there’s seven cars here.

“There’s some for PWC being planned, there’s four at Multimatic being built, and they can’t build them fast enough right now. You’ll see them over in Europe as well.

“Last year was a lot of development and showcasing the car a bit but obviously they did a good job.

“The best part is the are customer cars, even though we have this sort of factory-effort with the NASCAR guys, the customer cars are leading or are right up at the top of the time sheets. The cars are fast and they’re all equal.

“It’s up to the teams to do the prepping and tuning and they’ll be right there.”

Ryan Myrehn contributed to this report

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Steve

    January 7, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    Where’s Billy Johnson in all of this? Don’t think I’ve seen him listed as an additional driver for WEC and he’s not a 4th for Daytona. Possibly keeping him out of the car to downgrade his FIA rating from platinum?

  2. Andy Flinn

    January 7, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    I’m very impressed by Ford’s commitment to GT4. They should be proud with SEVEN cars.

    GM should take note.

  3. Richard Blough

    January 8, 2018 at 7:16 am

    When was Daytona moved up to January?

  4. Ed

    January 8, 2018 at 8:18 am

    Who is Billy Johnson?

    • Steve

      January 8, 2018 at 8:40 am

      Seriously? Arguably the best driver in CTSC; his role in the WEC Ford GT team bumped his FIA rating to Platinum and per IMSA rules is now ineligible for CTSC competition.

      http://www.billyjohnsonracing.com/

      Billy Johnson is an American professional race car driver competing in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing in the #66 Ford GT and the 2016 IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge GS champion for Ford/Multimatic Motorsports in the #15 Ford Performance Shelby GT350R-C with co-driver Scott Maxwell.

      With 23 wins to his name, Billy is the winningest driver in CTSCC history. In addition, Billy has multiple GT class podium finishes for Turner Motorsports, driving the BMW M3 in the IMSA GTD Class.

      Johnson is a test driver for Multimatic and Ford Performance and helped develop the LeMans winning Ford GT racecar, Championship winning Shelby GT350R-C, Mustang GT4, FP350S racecars, as well as street cars including the GT350, GT350R, and Ford GT.

      He has been called to drive in numerous endurance races including the 24 Hours of LeMans in the #66 Ford GT, 24 Hours of Daytona in the #77 Doran Racing Ford Daytona Prototype, the 12 Hours of Sebring in the #007 Aston Martin Vantage to the #64 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 to the #97 Turner Motorsport Z4 GT3.

      Johnson is also a road-course specialist in the NASCAR Xfinity series and is hired by Ford to teaching advanced techniques to Ford’s Sprint Cup and XFinity drivers on road course racing.

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