IMSA Spotlight: Paul Holton
Driver: C360R McLaren 570S GT4
How has the season so far meshed with your pre-season expectations?
“Honestly, I expected to be competitive straight out of the box with Matt Plumb and C360R. We knew the McLaren 570S GT4 would be a good car as long as we could work through some of the initial bugs, which we did with outstanding help from McLaren GT. All in all with a new car I can’t complain about our performance this season.”
What has been the biggest area of growth as you get used to the McLaren 570S GT4?
“For the team and myself the biggest area of growth after we got comfy with the 570S GT4 was in the tire conservation department. We had to find a good long-run balance and I had to learn how to keep the car under me for a hour stint on the Continental slicks, as you can burn off the rear tires on the McLaren if you aren’t careful. The car really is wonderful to drive, though. It’s fun and is engaging for the driver, not to mention quick!”
What did it mean to deliver the first win for the car in IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge?
“Delivering McLaren its first win in IMSA competition and the first win for the 570S GT4 in North America was absolutely incredible. It was great for the whole team, the crew, the drivers, everybody was super pumped as that was the culmination of four months of extensive testing. That day at COTA was pretty awesome. Pole in the morning, P1 in the afternoon, I was pumped all day to say the least.”
The championship battle is very tight in the CTSC GS class. What is going to be the key to come out on top at the end of the season?
“With the championship as tight as it is now, execution is going to be key. There’s no room for mistakes now and we have used our mulligan already so expect us to be strong for the rest of the season. There’s a good relationship forming between Matt, Ray Lee on the box, and myself, and I think that is going to help as we get to the pointy end of the championship here.
“I’m looking for that second win now and I know everybody else in the team is now, too. That’s one of the great things about C360R: all of the guys focus on what’s ahead and what they can change, not what’s already happened. I think that attitude of improvement is what led C360R to championships back in the days with Honda, and is what will continue to lead them to championships in the future.”
Where did your interest in motorsports come from?
“I really was just a casual fan growing up and really had no exposure to motorsports other than ripping around on ATVs and whatnot. When I was about 14, I got into a proper go-kart for the first time and was hooked. I think the seat-of-the-pants feel and decision making translates over really well from the sports I was playing at the time, that definitely has helped me learn as much as I could as quickly as I could.”