Continental Tire Beyond the Podium looks at some of the other news, notes and nuggets to come out of this past weekend’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Microsoft Visual Studio 150 at Sebring International Raceway.
***Stevenson Motorsports’ pace was such in Friday’s race that only one other car was within a second of its fastest race lap. The No. 6 and No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.Rs set fastest race laps of 2:16.364 and 2:17.104, and the No. 14 Doran Racing Nissan 370Z had the third fastest GS race lap of 2:17.126. All others were at least 1.115 seconds or more in arrears of the No. 6 Camaro.
***With fourth place in their No. 80 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R, Mantella Autosport’s pair of Kyle Marcelli and Martin Barkey recorded their best finish since coming third at VIR last August, which was the team’s first podium finish.
***Austin Cindric shot up from 13th to sixth on the opening lap of the race, but gearbox issues resigned he and Jade Buford to 11th in the No. 158 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang Boss 302R. Cindric reported he’d lost third gear by Lap 3.
***Trent Hindman and Ashley Freiberg finished eighth in the No. 46 Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3. This is only Hindman’s second finish outside the top four in the last seven races, dating to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last July.
***Andy Lally led briefly in his No. 08 Rebel Rock Racing Porsche 911 during the final pit stop sequence, but faded to 10th by the checkered flag in the car he shared with Dylan Murcott.
***The varying degrees of pit stop strategy jumbled the top-10 finishing order in ST compared to qualifying. The top-10 finishers started, in order, ninth, 15th, fourth, 11th, fifth, 12th, 16th, 22nd, seventh and 24th.
***Team Sahlen placed its two Porsche Caymans fifth and sixth, with Jeff Segal putting in a great day of work in both cars, starting the No. 43 car and finishing in the No. 42 car.
***Murillo Racing’s race ended before it really had a chance to get going, with the team diagnosing a broken lower front control arm after Jeff Mosing pitted the No. 56 Porsche Cayman from third on the grid on the first lap. Mosing and Eric Foss, the 2014 ST champion, ended 24th, with Foss suffering his worst result since Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca last May (20th).
***LAP Motorsports’ Remo Ruscitti made an excellent start to launch from 20th to 11th on the opening lap in his No. 37 MINI JCW. The Canadian handed off to teammate Dan Clarke, and the pair finished 18th. The sister No. 52 car driven by Stephen Simpson and Lucas Johnson ended 28th.
***Compass360 Racing’s Audi S3s ended 13th (Nicolas Rondet and Jim McGuire in the No. 74 Audi) and 29th (Paul Holton and Kyle Gimple in the No. 75 Audi) in the new car’s debut, which saw solid reliability and laps completed out of the gate.
What became the ST battle for second place was easily the best finish of the day. David Murry held off a hard-charging Stevan McAleer, but the Scottish driver gave it a valiant effort to earn his second straight Sebring podium (second in 2014).
The battle for second in class became that way after Andrew Carbonell fell from contention, despite being poised to take the fight to Greg Liefooghe in the second half of the race. Carbonell was seeking to repeat his class win of a year ago.