Ford NASCAR proteges Chase Briscoe, Cole Custer and Ty Majeski say they are learning a great deal about road racing in their foray into the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, and having plenty of fun in the process.
The trio of stock car regulars have been drafted into action for this weekend’s season-opening BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona in a pair of Multimatic-run Ford Mustang GT4 cars.
Joining them are Austin Cindric, himself an up-and-comer in the NASCAR world but with a wealth of sports car experience to draw from, and veteran road racer Scott Maxwell.
For the three neophytes there has been no shortage of lessons to learn in their sports car crash course with everything from multiple classes and driver changes to driving a car with ABS and traction control falling into the category of ‘unfamiliar.’
“It’s been interesting,” Custer told Sportscar365. “It’s definitely been a learning experience getting used to the ABS and the traction control, the paddle shifters and stuff like that.
“Multimatic has done a great job bringing a car that they have a good understanding of and it’s pretty easy for us just to walk into.
“Scott [Maxwell]’s been awesome trying to help us out and get us up to speed. It’s been awesome.”
Briscoe said he’s still getting used to sharing the track with machinery from other categories.
“To be completely honest with you, I don’t know what cars are even in my class!” Chase Briscoe admitted with a smile.
“I know some of them are way slower than us and some are about the same speed but it’s definitely been a learning curve just trying to learn.
“I’m sure as it goes on I’ll learn more and more about it and understand it more but definitely this first weekend I’m out in left field.”
For Majeski, who drove on a road course for just the second time ever at the Roar Before the 24, he’s enjoyed the process of learning about a completely new form of the sport he’s participated in for most of his life.
“Driver swaps are going to be interesting,” he told Sportscar365. “I’m not sure what to think about that yet.
“It’s just another part of this racing. I’m learning a lot each and every day and just taking it all in.
“This is a whole different world to me. The people are different, the car’s different, the tracks are different.
“You feel like a kid moving schools and you don’t know anybody. I’m just trying to learn as much as I can. It’s a lot of fun driving these cars. I’m looking forward to more races to come.”
Although the schedule has yet to be finalized, Briscoe and Majeski are expected to continue in the series beyond Daytona while Cindric and Custer both indicated they’d like to add more races if possible.
All three of the series debutantes said the experience has been invaluable to honing their road racing technique for when they return to their day jobs in NASCAR, and each said that it has been equal parts educational and enjoyable to step out of their comfort zone.
“I was excited to try it,” Briscoe said. “As a sprint car guy growing up, running a road course race at Daytona was probably the last thing I expected to have the opportunity to do.
“I was super excited and I think I’m going to run six or seven of these races total.
“I feel like the road courses are the thing I struggle with the most when I do the NASCAR stuff so being able to get some seat time and experience it, whether it’s in the Mustang or a stock car, I think just running on a road course helps.
“I think it was an awesome idea and I’m glad Ford is letting us do it.”