TRG-AMR (GS) and HART (ST) made it a double victory for team name acronyms in the fifth round of the 2014 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season, Saturday night’s two-hour, 30-minute affair at Kansas Speedway.
In GS, the polesitting TRG-AMR No. 07 Aston Martin Vantage of James Davison and Kris Wilson survived a race-long scrap with the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche 997 of Matt Plumb and Nick Longhi.
Wilson led most of the first half from pole and pitted an hour and 10 minutes into the race, with Longhi’s No. 13 car then taking over the top spot at the pit stop.
Once Rum Bum pitted on Lap 52, and Longhi handed off to Plumb, they held onto the lead as it was just before the second full-course caution of the race flew for an incident involving Lawson Aschenbach’s No. 01 CKS Autosport Camaro Z/28.R.
Davison and Plumb then engaged in a great fight for the lead, exchanging the top spot several times in traffic before Davison finally broke through to the lead on Lap 87.
Plumb incurred some late-race heartbreak with a splash for more fuel required with just two minutes to go, but with only three GS cars ending on the lead lap that negated the damage a bit.
The TRG-AMR crew made it five different GS winners in as many races. Fall-Line BMW (two different cars), Stevenson Corvette, and Rum Bum Porsche had wins in the first four races.
In second was the No. 32 Phoenix American Motorsports Ford Mustang Boss 302R of Kurt Rezzetano and Andrew Aquilante, courtesy of an excellent comeback drive from 22nd and last on the grid following a post-qualifying technical infraction.
Rebel Rock Racing took the final podium spot with Brett Sandberg and Al Carter in the No. 7 Porsche 997. The Rum Bum entry was fourth with the second Rebel Rock Porsche, the No. 08 of Kyle Marcelli and Martin Barkey, in fifth.
ST saw the factory HART team break through for its and Honda’s first win of the season, with Michael Valiante and Chad Gilsinger behind the wheel of the No. 93 Honda Civic Si.
That car started sixth but stayed consistent and ran in the top five most of the race, eventually moving to the lead by Lap 60 with Valiante behind the wheel.
A pair of Porsche Caymans rounded out the podium, with Wayne and Will Nonnamaker second in the No. 42 Team Sahlen’s entry and the class polesitting No. 87 Rebel Rock entry of Corey Lewis and Charles Espenlaub third.
Espenlaub secured the final podium position after a late race pass on Ryan Eversley in the No. 75 Compass360 Racing Honda Civic Si.
Eversley put in a banner drive along with co-driver Kyle Gimple to end fourth after starting 15th; the fourth Rebel Rock Porsche, this time the No. 88 of Jim Jonsin and Tom Dyer, rounding out the top five.
Hard luck entry on the day was the No. 04 Autometrics Motorsports Porsche Cayman, which led most of the first half early with Adam Isman on the wheel, but incurred a black flag on its first pit stop when Isman hit a tire. After taking over, Remo Ruscitti recovered admirably to get back to second from outside the top 15 by lap 75, but was unable to make any further headway.
The series resumes at Watkins Glen on June 28.
RESULTS: Unofficial Race