***Defending GS class champion Trent Hindman will make his first laps this week in today’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Microsoft Visual Studio 150, after arriving late Thursday from Europe on another BMW commitment. John Edwards shook down the No. 46 Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3 in testing and practice, and Ashley Freiberg qualified the car seventh for today’s race.
***Austin Cindric qualified 13th due to an internal issue, which the Multimatic Motorsports team diagnosed and solved after qualifying on Thursday. Cindric reported a break in the wiring harness, which cut out the eighth cylinder. Cindric will start and hand over to Jade Buford; the teenager also took the time to note his last three races have been on the historic Daytona, Bathurst and Sebring race circuits.
***The Continental Tire Challenge field had a full grid shot of the 47 cars entered this week taken Wednesday morning, on Sebring’s pit lane (see above).
***Rennsport One (RS1) is at Sebring this week with three cars, as late entries for the weekend. It’s been a weekend fraught with frustration for Spencer Pumpelly and Luis Rodriguez Jr., who have turned only installation laps in their No. 17 Porsche Cayman due to persistent engine issues. The team’s brand new No. 19 Porsche Cayman, also featuring a new livery featuring Zerolag Hosting sponsorship, was only just completed two days ago for drivers Greg Strelzoff and Connor Bloum, and is one of the newest chassis in the field.
***Brownsburg, Ind.-based LAP Motorsports makes its debut with two MINI JCWs (John Cooper Works) in the ST class. Past CTSC race winner Remo Ruscitti joins Dan Clarke in the No. 37 entry with Stephen Simpson and Lucas Johnson in the No. 52 car. The No. 37 made its first laps for testing on Tuesday. Clarke noted a number of former HVM Champ Car mechanics are part of the team.
***Tim Bell Racing’s No. 28 Nissan 370Z was withdrawn following an engine failure this week. Team owner and driver Tim Bell is focusing on the team’s No. 29 car this weekend, with the No. 28 of he and Charles Espenlaub shooting to return at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
***CJ Wilson Racing drivers are having a busy week at Sebring. Although the No. 3 car isn’t entered this week, Marc Miller is still on site, providing commentary on IMSA Radio. Meanwhile Chad McCumbee and Stevan McAleer are pulling double duty, between driving the No. 5 ModSpace Mazda MX-5 and running their new Mazda MX-5 Cup team, McCumbee McAleer Racing, in that series’ first race weekend of the year.
***Jeff Mosing returns for this race alongside defending ST class champion Eric Foss in the No. 56 Murillo Racing Porsche Cayman, after Justin Piscitell filled in at Daytona and scored the class pole. Piscitell, in another fill-in role for Devin Jones this week, scored his second straight pole and is now driving alongside Christian Szymczak in the No. 34 Alara Racing Mazda MX-5.
***Kuno Wittmer’s return to CTSC, and to the Honda/Acura umbrella, has brought about one noticeable change. “It’s nice to be in a quieter car!” said Wittmer, who’s spent the last several seasons in the ground pounding, V10-powered Dodge Viper GTS-R and the GT3 variant, the Dodge Viper GT3-R, at this year’s Rolex 24 at Daytona. Co-driver Chad Gilsinger qualified 10th in the No. 93 Honda Civic Si.
***Corey Lewis, who announced earlier this week he will be racing in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo USA series full-time this year in a Monster Energy-backed effort, is coaching Matthew Dicken and John Lewis in the No. 36 Strategic Wealth Racing Porsche Cayman. Dicken had a near hair-raising moment in qualifying when another car made a reentry at Turn 1 reminiscent of Matteo Malucelli’s in last year’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, but fortunately contact was averted.
***Rebel Rock Racing’s No. 88 Porsche Cayman has a near blinding new fluorescent yellow livery this week, and Nate Norenberg driving alongside Jim Jonsin in the team’s ST class entry.
***Watch today’s Microsoft Visual Studio 150 from Sebring live on IMSA.com, with coverage starting at 1 p.m. ET. The green flag for the two-hour, 30-minute Round 2 of the season is set for 1:05 p.m.