Stevenson Motorsports (GS) and Freedom Autosport (ST) took the wins in Friday’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Sebring, the second round of the 2014 season.
The two-hour, 30-minute race ended under yellow after a severe accident occurred with just less than 20 minutes remaining, when Marc Miller’s No. 3 CJ Wilson Racing Mazda MX-5 snapped right and hit the tire barriers head on exiting Turn 6.
Miller was extricated from the car. Per IMSA and the CJWR team, Miller is awake and alert and being transferred to a local area hospital for further examination.
While Stevenson has won multiple races in the championship, the win marked a number of firsts for the Andrew Davis and Robin Liddell pairing in the No. 6 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R.
Davis and Liddell secured their first CTSC career victories, and the win also marks the first for the new Camaro that premiered at Daytona.
On a restart with just more than 25 minutes remaining, Liddell was running third but advanced into the lead around the outside of Turn 1 as three other cars around him made contact.
Lawson Aschenbach in the No. 01 CKS Autosport Camaro Z/28.R appeared to contact John Edwards in the No. 46 Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3 ahead of him, with Edwards then getting into restart leader Shane Lewis in the No. 12 Bodymotion Racing Porsche 997 at Turn 1.
Edwards made it through while Lewis spun to the inside, and Aschenbach’s No. 01 Camaro ricocheted into the second Stevenson Camaro Z/28.R, the No. 9 entry driven by Andy Lally.
Edwards retained the car to end second in the car he co-drove with polesitter Trent Hindman. Prior to the last restart, the pair dominated the majority of the race before the cautions.
“We thought the BMW would drive away from us under green, which they did,” Liddell said. “Admittedly we got lucky. It was a shame to end under caution.”
The ensuing chaos brought the No. 14 Doran Racing Nissan 370Z of B.J. Zacharias and Brad Jaeger up to third.
Max Riddle and Kris Wilson finished fourth in the No. 07 TRG-AMR Aston Martin Vantage with David Levine and Lucas Bize fifth in the No. 78 Racers Edge Motorsports Ford Mustang Boss 302R.
That made it five different makes and models in the top five of GS, unofficially.
In ST, Mazdas dominated the day with the Freedom No. 26 Mazda MX-5 of Randy Pobst and Andrew Carbonell moving to the lead early ahead of the No. 93 HART Honda Civic Si of Chad Gilsinger and Michael Valiante. It was a lead they held for most of the race en route to the class win.
“I knew when I got out in the lead, Andrew would just extend that, and he did,” Pobst said. “The advantage of the Mazda here is its handling. It was a pleasure to drive.”
The No. 93 inherited the class pole after the polesitting No. 5 CJ Wilson Racing MX-5 was sent to the rear for having non-compliant radiator ducting. Later in the race, the No. 93 fell behind with a right side driveshaft issue.
Pobst controlled the pace while behind him, the pair of CJWR Mazdas climbed from the back of the grid. Stevan McAleer took the No. 5 and Tyler McQuarrie took the No. 3 both into the top five.
McAleer handed to Chad McCumbee and that car came home second. Daytona winners Murillo Racing ended third with Eric Foss and Jeff Mosing co-driving the No. 56 BMW 328i.
The No. 33 Skullcandy Team Nissan Altima finished fourth, driven by Vesko Kozarov and Derek Jones, with the No. 98 CRG – I Do Borrow Honda Civic Si of Sarah Cattaneo and Owen Trinkler fifth in class.
Points are unofficial but the Edwards/Hindman pairing leads GS by four points (58-54) over Jade Buford and Scott Maxwell in the No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang Boss 302R.
In ST, Foss and Mosing are 10 points ahead (65-55) of the No. 81 Bimmerworld Racing BMW 328i driven by Tyler Cooke and Greg Liefooghe.
The third round of the 2014 CTSC season will take place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca May 3-4.
RESULTS: Sebring Round 2