The pair of Multimatic Motorsports Ford Shelby GT350R-Cs completed their first 1-2 finish under unlikely circumstances in Saturday’s sixth round of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season at Lime Rock Park.
Billy Johnson and Scott Maxwell took their first win of the year in the No. 15 Ford after starting last in the 12-car GS field, in a brand new car built following Maxwell’s accident at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
Jade Buford and Austin Cindric finished second in the No. 158 car, 3.093 seconds behind, after Buford held off a late charge from B.J. Zacharias in the No. 14 Doran Racing Nissan 370Z.
Zacharias, who co-drove with Brad Jaeger, pressed Buford and hounded him through traffic but was unable to get past in the final 20 minutes.
The Multimatic 1-2 came after several of the other GS cars hit trouble during the two-hour race.
The No. 9 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R dominated the opening stint of the race with Matt Bell driving, with Bell surviving a frantic scrap for the lead with Hugh Plumb in the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche 911.
Plumb’s charge was halted when lapping the No. 36 Strategic Wealth Racing Porsche Cayman and No. 74 Compass360 Racing Audis exiting Turn 1, mere moments after Bell made it past.
Plumb had to check up to avoid hitting the ST cars and in the process was hit by Andrew Davis in the second Stevenson Camaro, the No. 6 car. Davis was issued a drive-through penalty for avoidable contact.
The race was shaping up well for Bell before handing over to Lawson Aschenbach, but he lost the lead exiting Turn 5 up the hill into Turn 6. Johnson made the pass to the inside and controlled the race from there.
“Scott did most of the work, starting last and getting it up to P2,” Johnson said. “We had a little bit of luck today, but it helps compared to other points where we’ve had rotten luck in the past.”
While running second, the No. 87 Rebel Rock Racing Porsche Cayman nudged Aschenbach off course exiting Turn 2, and it dropped him out of the top five.
It promoted the No. 158 car to second, ahead of the No. 14 Nissan. Davis and Robin Liddell finished fourth, ahead of Aschenbach and Bell.
Fall-Line Motorsports saw its race end on the opening lap when Anthony Mantella’s No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R nudged Ashley Freiberg’s No. 46 BMW M3 off course exiting Turn 3.
Freiberg’s car ran up into the tire barriers but she was OK after the accident, even though the car suffered significant front end damage.
Meanwhile, CJ Wilson Racing dominated ST, with Chad McCumbee and Stevan McAleer controlling the race from start-to-finish in the No. 5 Mazda MX-5 from pole.
McCumbee banked upwards of a 12-to-15 second gap in his stint before handing to McAleer, and he brought it home from there for their second win of the year. The No. 5 car only lost the lead on the lone pit stop cycle.
“The fuel window helped us a lot this weekend by being a shorter race,” McAleer said. “We knew the strategy, the majority of the gap would get cut.
“But Chad got such a big lead so we took our time, took tires and came out at the front. We had a little tiny scare on the last caution but we got a great restart, to be honest we never really got touched.”
It was a banner day for the pair, who unofficially moved into the ST class championship lead while Freedom Autosport’s pairing of Liam Dwyer and Andrew Carbonell struggled to an 11th place finish.
The best battle on the day came for second, between a pair of Porsche Caymans. Eric Foss held off Spencer Pumpelly for the runner-up position. The pair were utterly neck-and-neck, and Foss held off Pumpelly for the result, 6.736 seconds behind McAleer.
Foss co-drove with Jeff Mosing in the No. 56 Murillo Racing Porsche, while Pumpelly co-drove with Luis Rodriguez Jr. in the No. 17 Rennsport One Porsche.
The No. 44 CRG-I Do Borrow Honda Civic Si of Owen Trinkler and Sarah Cattaneo equaled their season-best result in fourth, with another Rennsport One Porsche of Lee Carpentier and Dylan Murcott completing the top five.
The series heads to Road America on August 8, for the seventh round of the season.
RESULTS: Lime Rock Park