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Daytona Test to Offer First Look at 2018 CTSC Field

This week’s Daytona test to offer first look at 2018 Continental Tire Challenge field…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

A handful of Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge teams, including new-for-2018 GT4 and TCR machinery, are set to take part in a single-day test at Daytona on Wednesday, ahead of next month’s season-opening BMW Endurance Challenge.

The test, primarily focused on the series’ new incoming cars, features two, one-hour sessions alongside additional practice sessions for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Prototype Challenge Presented by Mazda.

On the entry list issued last week, 12 cars from 12 Continental Tire Challenge teams are entered for the test, five from the GS class and seven from the new-for-2018 TCR class.

Of the five GS cars, all of which are homologated to GT4 specifications, three will be seeing IMSA competition for the first time in 2018, including the Mercedes-AMG GT4, Audi R8 and BMW M4.

Three of the five GS teams are also new to the class, including Winward Racing/HTP Motorsport and Audi of America, both new to the series altogether, and BimmerWorld Racing, formerly an ST class team.

The remaining two teams return with the same car they competed with in 2017, RS1 with the Porsche Cayman and Multimatic Motorsports, which supported KohR Motorsports this past season, with the Ford Mustang.

However, the biggest change coming for the series in 2018 is the introduction of TCR. Its integration into the Continental Tire Challenge marks the first time the class will be fully incorporated into North American sports car racing, and several manufacturers are jumping at the opportunity.

Audi will be represented at the test with five RS3 LMS cars fielded by four teams: Audi of America, C360R, eEuroparts.com Racing and JDC-Miller Motorsports. Alfa Romeo and Volkswagen will also be represented with one car apiece, by Alfa TCR USA and VW Motorsport, respectively.

Many drivers who competed in the Continental Tire Challenge in 2017 are returning for the test as well, including Scott Maxwell and Jade Buford for Multimatic, Dillon Machavern and Spencer Pumpelly for RS1, James Clay and Tyler Cooke for BimmerWorld, Michael Johnson and Stephen Simpson for JDC-Miller, and Roy Block, Pierre Kleinubing and Aurora Straus for C360R.

Andrew Davis is pegged for Audi of America’s RS3 LMS TCR entry, as he piloted the manufacturer’s R8 LMS GT3 car in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship this past year

After a Continental Tire Challenge hiatus in 2017, Lee Carpentier and Kieron O’Rourke return to Daytona with World Challenge team eEuroparts.com Racing in another Audi TCR, while New York native Nick Longhi joins the C360R Audi roster as well. VW Motorsport has listed former RS1 ST driver Jon Miller in its new Volkswagen TCR car.

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. TCR is Cool

    December 4, 2017 at 9:42 am

    So no Mini TCR cars this year?

    • Azuma

      December 4, 2017 at 10:06 am

      I don’t think so. We will see at the Roar.

  2. Sol Shine

    December 4, 2017 at 10:52 am

    I think it’s stupid to have the same car running in multiple classes. Like pick a class, either GTE/GTLM, GT3 or GT4, but not two classes. This does nothing but confuse spectators and it makes the manufacturers look stupid as well. Trying to sell an Audi R8 as a luxury high end brand then dropping down to run it in GT4 against mass market cars like the Mustang? What kind of dense marketing is that? It seems VW group will do anything to win or sell their junk cars to dense buyers.

    • jim

      December 4, 2017 at 11:17 am

      It’s not that hard to figure out the differences. That’s just being lazy.

    • Andy Flinn

      December 4, 2017 at 12:28 pm

      Porsche 935 (IMSA GTX)
      Porsche Carrera RSR/Porsche 934 (IMSA GTO)
      Porsche 911 (GTU)

      • Matt

        December 5, 2017 at 12:38 am

        Those Porsche’s were whole different cars with different engines and model number. And they looked completely different.

        • Andy Flinn

          December 5, 2017 at 4:50 pm

          Wayne Baker’s Sebring-winning Porsche 934 was the ex-Garretson Racing, ex-Dick Barbour racing chassis that won at Daytona in ’81 and finished second at Le Mans with Paul Newman in ’79. The 934 was later converted by Baker back to a Porsche 935 and raced one more season in IMSA GTP (GTX replacement) in ’84.

          The car was returned to it’s pre-K3 Le Mans ’79 status and livery and is currently owned by Adam Carolla.

          An ex-Gianpierro Moretti (MOMO) IMSA GTX Porsche 935 chassis was converted by Chet Vincenz (Electrodyne Racing) into a multiple IMSA race-winning GTO Porsche 934.

          Bill Koll converted a GTX Porsche 935 chassis into a Porsche 911 and then won the IMSA GTU class (finished third overall) at the 24 Hours of Daytona in ’81.

          I also know of at least one team based in Florida that converted a GTU Porsche 911 chassis into a GTX Porsche 935.

          It was not uncommon for IMSA teams to switch there Porsche chassis from GTU to GTO and vice versa.

          So, no, many of these IMSA Porsches were not “whole different cars.”

          • Andy Flinn

            December 5, 2017 at 4:55 pm

            I apologize for the grammar mistakes. I would fix them if this message board had an editing feature.

    • Matt

      December 5, 2017 at 12:44 am

      I agree it is pretty stupid. It’s a missed opportunity to promote another model if anything. Audi should be running the TTRS or RS3 in GT4 (the TCR car should be called an S3 since that’s what it is…). Mercedes should be running the E63 AMG in GT4 to finally give the model some track credentials. It also makes the R8 and AMG GT look slow when racing against Mustangs and M4’s that should be much slower.

  3. João Coelho

    December 4, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    There won’t be any Camaro GT4?

  4. SirSkidsalot

    December 4, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    They don’t have to be at this test, I’m sure there will be a Camaro when the season starts in January. This is mainly for new cars to get evaluated for BoP.

  5. Zone

    December 4, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    So after all the hype the flat plane crank Shelby GT 350 is history. One season and gone. The engine vibrates it’s components so bad they canceled the program. Ford you are not Ferrari engineering wise. Stick with the cpc. Feel bad for all the track rats who bought into this hype. The boss mustang program worked because they raced it for two years before they brought the car to market.

  6. Matt

    December 4, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Sportscar racing rules!

  7. Slicks in the wet

    December 6, 2017 at 4:07 am

    Just not excited about this series at all anymore.

    Maybe once they hit the track it will change. But it’s gone way downhill the last 5 years.

    Falling car counts and even worse, falling competition have made this go from a must-see event every weekend to an oh yeah, there was a Conti race yesterday.

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