Scott Maxwell went from third to first in one turn on a late race restart to clinch the first win for the new-for-2017 Ford Mustang in the car’s second-ever race in Friday’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Sebring 120.
It was another impressive performance for KohR Motorsports, which scored pole at Daytona in the Mustang’s debut race and stepped up to field Maxwell and co-driver Jade Buford in a brand-new chassis after the pair’s Multimatic-run chassis was unavailable.
The two-hour race was slowed by the second full course yellow of the event with just under 25 minutes remaining, bunching the field and erasing a 30-plus second deficit between Maxwell and the then race-leading McLaren 570S GT4s of Chris Hall and Nico Rondet.
The No. 60 KohR team elected to go off strategy after the initial caution of the race, calling Maxwell in for a splash of fuel with just over 52 minutes remaining.
When the green flag flew again for the final time with 15 minutes to go, Maxwell wasted no time jumping from third to first before the exit of Turn 1 and never looked back.
It marked the 50th win for Ford in Continental Tire Challenge Competition, and the 17th of Maxwell’s series career.
Hall in the No. 7 Automatic Racing/VOLT Racing McLaren appeared to run out of fuel in the waning laps and fell out of contention while Rondet in the No. 77 for C360R also sputtered and had to settle for third.
As a result, the No. 69 Motorsports In Action McLaren of Chris Green and Jesse Lazare finished second in just their second race for the Montreal-based team.
Damien Faulkner and Russell Ward took fourth in the No. 35 CJ Wilson Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, followed by the second C360R McLaren of Matt Plumb and Paul Holton in fifth.
The ST class win came down to the wire with Spencer Pumpelly managing to maneuver past Eric Foss and Owen Trinkler when the two collided while battling for the lead with three minutes left.
Foss was attempting to hold off the hard-charging Trinkler in the waning laps when the two made contact.
Foss’ Murillo Racing Porsche Cayman got the worst of the contact while Trinkler managed to continue on and challenge Pumpelly on the final lap.
Pumpelly held him off by 0.588 seconds at the stripe to pick up the win for the No. 17 RS1 team and co-driver Nick Galante.
ST pole winner Sarah Cattaneo came up one place short of defending their class win at Sebring from a year ago in the No. 44 CRG – I Do Borrow Nissan Altima, with Eric Foss jumping to third in Murillo Racing’s No. 56 Porsche that he co-drives with Jeff Mosing.
RESULTS: Sebring 120