Connect with us

Michelin Pilot Challenge

Ford Goes 1-2 in CTSC Opener at Daytona

Ford goes 1-2 in CTSC opener at Daytona…

Photo: Action Sports Photography

Photo: Action Sports Photography

Porsche was the dominant manufacturer storyline heading into the BMW Performance 200, but Ford has emerged with the overall win to kick off the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season.

Billy Johnson and Scott Maxwell have taken the GS and overall victory in the No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Shelby GT350R-C, in the car’s first start at Daytona, following a neck-and-neck battle with Rum Bum Racing’s Porsche 997.

On the 54th of 68 laps, Johnson made it around the outside of Matt Plumb going into Turn 1. The two were side-by-side through Turns 1 and 2 before Johnson made it fully past.

The hopes for Plumb and Hugh Plumb in the venerable No. 13 Porsche were dashed after a late-race restart, with fuel pump issues meaning the car was slow to restart.

It promoted the pair of new or returning GS entrants, Compass360 Racing and CJ Wilson Racing, into podium positions.

The No. 76 Ford Shelby GT350R-C of Pierre Kleinubing and Paul Holton finished second, 2.238 seconds back following a late charge, with both drivers leading during the race for Karl Thomson’s team.

Meanwhile Wilson watched his new pairing of Marc Miller and Daniel Burkett end on the podium in the debut of the new No. 33 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.

Burkett led in his series debut, following a fantastic move to the outside of Hugh Plumb at the second hairpin in the opening 45 minutes. He matched a third place in his Prototype Challenge debut at Watkins Glen last year.

In ST, Murillo Racing captured its second Daytona win in three years. Eric Foss and Jeff Mosing drove a flawless race in the No. 56 Porsche Cayman to claim the victory, in their first of two races this weekend.

They’ll share the No. 93 Riley Motorsports Dodge Viper GT3-R with three other drivers in Saturday’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Mosing, in particular, stood out during his stint. He battled James Clay’s No. 84 Bimmerworld 328i and polesitter Elliott Skeer’s No. 8 Rebel Rock Cayman but stayed in front more often than not, to hand off to Foss.

The No. 17 Rennsport One Porsche Cayman finished second in the hands of Spencer Pumpelly and new co-driver Nick Galante. The No. 17 Cayman beat the No. 56 Cayman for the win last year, following a last lap fuel drama for another Cayman from RS1.

LRT Racing made it past Rebel Rock for the final podium position, with Jorge Leroux edging Skeer’s teammate Robin Liddell in the No. 4 Honda Civic Si.

The No. 83 Next Level European Porsche Cayman of Greg Liefooghe and Ari Balogh completed the top five finishers.

Of note, the CRG-I Do Borrow Honda Civic Si of Sarah Cattaneo and Owen Trinkler drove from last on the grid in the 29-car ST field up to seventh, behind the Strategic Wealth Racing Porsche Cayman of Matthew Dicken and Corey Lewis in sixth.

Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno) is Sportscar365's North American Editor, focusing on coverage of the IMSA-sanctioned championships as well as Pirelli World Challenge. DiZinno also contributes to and other motorsports outlets. Contact Tony


More in Michelin Pilot Challenge