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Michelin Pilot Challenge

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

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