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KohR Mustang Takes Rain-Shortened CTSC Win at Road America

Dean Martin, Jack Roush Jr. win rain-shortened race at Road America…

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

Dean Martin, Jack Roush Jr., and KohR Motorsports picked up their second IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge win of the season in Saturday’s rain-shortened Road America 120.

The race came to a halt with 47 minutes to go for lightning in the area, freezing the field with Martin and the No. 59 Mustang holding the top spot. The race would not restart due to a lightning warning that was not set to expire before the race time had elapsed.

The win marked a turnaround for the KohR squad, which was forced to undertake repairs following Practice 3 this morning when its Mustang came into pit lane billowing smoke after suffering mechanical problem related to the differential.

The crew went to work and had the car ready for qualifying less than 30 minutes later, and Roush went on to lock down a starting spot on the outside of the front row.

That turned into a de facto pole position when the No. 76 C360R McLaren 570S GT4 started from the pit lane due to an issue with the rear suspension discovered after qualifying, then stopped on track on the pace lap.

Roush held the lead for much of the opening stint, but did have to fight back to the front after temporarily losing the place to Mathew Keegan on the race’s first restart.

He regained the lead 12 minutes later, passing Keegan into Canada Corner, and the KohR team stayed out front through the pit stop cycle.

Dillon Machavern took second for RS1, and he and co-driver Dylan Murcott have moved provisionally into the GS points lead.

They were promoted from third after a penalty for passing under the yellow was assessed to Gabriele Piana and Mortiz Kranz in the No. 21 Muehlner Motorsports Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, which otherwise impressed in the drivers’ series debut.

The penalty dropped the car to ninth in GS.

The No. 69 Motorsports In Action McLaren of Chris Green and Jesse Lazare completed the GS podium in third.

The ST class went the way of the No. 25 Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5 of Chad McCumbee and Stevan McAleer, who had not yet made their pit stop when the red flag was displayed.

Had the race gone back to green, the duo would still have needed to refuel and therefore lost their advantage but were saved the need to pit when the race was called early.

The sister No. 27 Mazda of Tom Long and Britt Casey Jr. used the same strategy to complete a Freedom Autosport 1-2 in ST, with Jeff Mosing taking third in the No. 56 Porsche Cayman for Murillo Racing and Nick Galante in fourth for RS1, all on the same strategy.

Because none of the top-four cars pitted, only one driver turned laps in the race for those entries.

Further clarification on how points will be awarded is expected later. Results at the time of posting are unofficial pending series review.

The lone major incident of the race came on the opening lap when Alan Byrnjolfsson spun the No. 7 VOLT Racing Mustang in damp conditions, making significant contact with the tire barrier.

RESULTS: Road America 120

Ryan Myrehn is an Indianapolis-based journalist and sportscaster, covering IMSA and Pirelli World Challenge. Myrehn, a graduate of DePauw University, is also the host of Sportscar365’s “Double Stint” Podcast.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Russ Adams

    August 5, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    What a terrible call IMSA made

    • Some Guy

      August 5, 2017 at 8:10 pm

      There was lightening in the area, they really had no choice.

  2. Tim Adams

    August 5, 2017 at 9:04 pm

    Lightening was gone. Stop the clock, let the cars change tires, start the clock, finish the race. An absolute disgrace.

  3. Brian Zinn

    August 5, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    From what I could tell, the “lightning clock” actually would have expired with about 10 minutes left on the broadcast countdown clock, but the timing and scoring clock had been stopped around the 20 minutes remaining mark, so I have no idea what IMSA was using to base this decision on.

  4. Ken Lin

    August 6, 2017 at 1:11 am

  5. Tom

    August 6, 2017 at 5:37 am

    Lightning Safest place in car

  6. Colin Bisset

    August 6, 2017 at 5:57 am

    It’s about the corner workers, not the drivers.

  7. Ryan

    August 6, 2017 at 7:55 am

    I was at the track yesterday and the track itself wasn’t in great shape either. There were rivers of water running down both hills into turn 5 and down the front straight. It was an absolute downpour for a good 15-20 minutes.

  8. Blaneysellstrashbags@Ring24

    August 6, 2017 at 8:36 am

    CoTA ran a race a few years ago with lightning popping all over the area. I was a corner worker and shortsightedness with CoTA management left us stranded with nowhere to go and noway to seek cover. At the time corner workers at CoTA were not allowed to carry their personal car to the posts which was stupid. Lightning is not something to take chances with and I applaud Road America and IMSA race control. They most likely were following the advice of meteorologists who know a lot more about weather than most of us.

  9. Mike K

    August 6, 2017 at 10:10 am

    IMSA did a great job. Lightning at the track before the 50% mark so those corner workers needed to stay out there until they hit that mark. Then a few minutes later, red flag. Now Mazda will need to threaten to pull out of IMSA unless those 2nd ST drivers get points for “unforeseen conditions”. IMSA officials could have stopped the clock and waited it out or called it before 50% but IMSA needs to get out of the track so they can enjoy the evening at Siebkens.

    What’s the deal with only 31 cars total? I guess 2018 will be another banner year because adding a 3ed class will add a few cars, thus a success.

    • WBrowning

      August 6, 2017 at 8:56 pm

      There will be more GT4/GS cars next year, and probably more ST/TCR cars as they transition from ST, to TCR. I am sure that the TCR group will eventually out number the high point of ST entries and we will be looking at combined fields of close to 40 cars.

  10. WBrowning

    August 6, 2017 at 9:01 pm

    FYI: I call them GT4/GS because I’m assuming IMSA will still call them GS cars after the grandfathered cars leave at the end of this season.

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