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Continental Tire Beyond the Podium: CTSC Sebring

A look at the news and notes from Friday’s Sebring 150 CTSC race…

Photo: Action Sports/Continental Tire

Photo: Action Sports/Continental Tire

Continental Tire Beyond the Podium covers the bullet points and notes from Friday’s Sebring 150, the second round of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season.

***The No. 76 Compass 360 Ford Shelby GT350R-C driven by Pierre Kleinubing and Paul Holton overcame a puncture early in the race to finish fourth in ST. The pair combined for a second place finish in the season opener at Daytona.

***Michael Valiante survived an impact by the No. 37 MINI JCW of Mark Pombo on the final lap to finish second in class. Pombo repordidely had brake failure, which saw Valiante’s No. 93 HART Honda Civic Si sustain heavy damage. The two were battling for second and third in class at the time.

***An engine change for the ST class pole-winning BimmerWorld BMW 328i forced Tyler Cooke to start from the rear of the 26-car class but charge to a third place result with co-driver James Clay. The No. 8 Rebel Rock Racing Porsche Cayman of Elliott Skeer, which qualified second, also lost his qualifying time after a post-qualifying technical infraction.

***Two top ST contenders dropped out of contention early. Jeff Mosing’s No. 56 Murillo Racing Porsche Cayman broke the gear linkage cable on the opening lap, while Liam Dwyer pitted the No. 26 Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5 on lap three with suspension damage, which put the car behind the wall.

***Friday’s runner-up in GS, Billy Johnson, will be taking part in an expanded European program with the Ford GT, having been confirmed in the No. 66 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing UK entry for the first two FIA World Endurance Championship rounds at Silverstone and Spa-Francorchamps in addition to Johnson’s debut in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

***Both Ford and Chevrolet are understood to be developing GT4 versions of the Shelby GT350R-C and Camaro Z/28.R, respectively, that could both debut in North American competition later this year.

***CJ Wilson Racing expanded its relationship with New Balance, which served as the primary sponsor of its No. 35 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport in Friday’s race. Tyler McQuarrie and Till Bechtolsheimer recored a fifth place finish in the GS class.

***Watch the Sebring 150 on March 27 at 12:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, with third round of the Continental Tire Challenge season set to take place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on April 30.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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