Continental Tire Beyond the Podium returns today, with a look at some of the bullet points and other notes to come out of the previous weekend’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race, which this week occurs after Friday’s BMW Performance 200 at Daytona International Speedway.
***The 1-2 finish for Ford’s Shelby GT350R-C on Friday is the manufacturer’s first since Lime Rock last year. Karl Thomson’s Compass360 Racing team, the first customer for the new car, returned to the GS podium for the first time since the 2014 race at Road America with its old Subaru WRX-STi.
***Ford Performance boss Dave Pericak said the U.S. customer base is likely to expand. “We have a lot of interest in increasing customer participation. You’ll see that evolve over this year and into next year on more customer cars. There would be no stopping them from running in Pirelli World Challenge for sure,” Pericak told Sportscar365. He also said there are no current plans for the car to made available to European customers, and said the car is not built to GT4 specification.
***Jeroen Bleekemolen finished sixth in GS in the Muehlner Motorsports America Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport in a last-minute nomination alongside Bob Doyle.
***Sunoco Challenge winner Paddy McClughan finished eighth in the Racers Edge Motorsports’ Ford Mustang Boss 302R. Co-driver Chris Beaufait suffered an early race puncture and the team played catch-up from there
***Eric Foss and Jeff Mosing followed up their ST win with a podium in Sunday’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, co-driving the No. 93 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R. Even more impressive in their ST drive was the fact they survived their pit stop with the door unhinged, after contact from another car. You can watch the video here.
***Jorge Leroux edged Robin Liddell by 0.017 of a second for third place in ST following an exciting scrap. The Dominican Republic native and brother Juan Carlos scored their first podium in the series.
***The engine for LeRoux’s No. 4 Honda Civic Si, as well of those from fellow Honda teams CRG-I Do Borrow and HART (No. 93 car), were impounded by IMSA after the race for further inspection.
***Michael Valiante suffered a freaky coincidence at the Bus Stop chicane in the waning stages of the race. Two years ago, he was running fourth in ST and collided with another Honda at the chicane. On Friday, history repeated itself, with Valiante again running fourth only this time the contact occurred between he and Kevin Boehm in the second HART Honda.
***Porsche Caymans swept five of the top six positions, and represented nine of the top 12 in class in total.
***Among the Caymans, Strategic Wealth Racing scored its best finish yet, of sixth. Matthew Dicken started the No. 36 Cayman and handed over to Corey Lewis, who did most of the rest.
***The rear deck lid on the No. 73 MINI JCW of Derek Jones and Mat Pombo became dislodged, and the car briefly ran with its deck lid open. That car finished 13th.
***Stevan McAleer, in a rare starting role, sustained right front damage to the No. 25 Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5 early in the race. He and Chad McCumbee hung on to finish 17th, actually a spot better than they did last year to kick off an eventual title-winning season.
***New Bimmerworld driver Jerry Kaufman proposed to girlfriend Ellie Bell on pit lane before the race, and she said yes. He and Kyle Tilley finished 19th in the No. 81 BMW 328i after contact.
Check in with new CJ Wilson Racing driver Daniel Burkett, who turned in an early contender for “pass of the year” with his outside move on Hugh Plumb at Turn 5 for the lead within the opening 45 minutes of the race. Burkett and Marc Miller finished third in “Darth Cayman.”
Spencer Pumpelly describes Rennsport One’s build of its new No. 17 Porsche Cayman chassis, which he and new co-driver Nick Galante took to second place in ST. Pumpelly had his whole family on site for the weekend.