Throughout the year, Continental Tire will focus on celebrating the fans, media, drivers, and teams and their contributions to sports car racing, including a weekly trip down memory lane in Sportscar365’s Continental Tire IMSA Reflections series.
This week, Lawson Aschenbach reflects on one of his most memorable wins in his career and highlights the differences between driving in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.
What memories stand out to you in your time racing on Continental Tires?
“In all honesty, the win last year at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park was definitely the biggest moment because it was the first win for Stevenson Motorsports with the Audi.
“It was a brutal race with the rain and the dry, and the fact that we had Continental tires that were working in both conditions was pretty amazing.
“I think that was probably the highlight over the last couple of years because the team was working so hard and we had lost out on a couple of wins and podiums that we potentially could have had.
“To finally break through on the same weekend that the Camaro GT4.R ended up winning its first race too, it was the best feeling all of us had had in awhile.”
Was a there a memorable moment off track in that time?
“I had a blast at the Extreme Sport Contact launch event. We got to take some of the cars out and we decided to have a free-for-all.
“Long story short, we got in trouble and were told not to drive the cars anymore! But if you can imagine what happened during that time, it was a blast.
“Continental has been such a great supporter of the series, the drivers, and the teams, so we love having them around.”
How different is it racing in Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge compared to the WeatherTech Championship?
“They are very different. First of all, you have very different cars. The way you’re pushing yourself is very different in each thing.
“The Continental Tire Challenge car is more of a street-based car and series. There car is moving around more. The tire is more forgiving in that series so you can get on to it and slide it around.
“You can push it over the edge and it responds well to those kind of inputs. When you get over to WeatherTech, it’s all about precision. You’re talking about finding that extra little bit.
“When you push the tire to that limit, it has a pretty big fall off but it’s got a ton of grip leading up to that point. You’re constantly riding the edge.
“I think that’s what’s so great about the WeatherTech series: we have to push ourselves as drivers to take our game to another level. When we think we found the limit, we have to continue to push that limit.
“The cars are allowing us to do that, which is another important piece to the puzzle.
“They’re both different, but they both are fun and have their own strengths.”