Austin, TX – September 20, 2014
TUDOR United SportsCar Championship Recap
Rojas and Pruett Combine to win at COTA
They say everything is bigger in Texas and the battle for the Prototype (P) win was no different. Three different types of P cars battled it out for the win in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship’s Lone Star Le Mans at Circuit of the Americas (COTA). The No. 01 Ford EcoBoost/Riley of Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas, the No. 42 Ligier JS P2/Honda of Alex Brundle and Gustavo Yacaman and the No. 5 Corvette DP of Joao Barbosa and Christian Fittipaldi, were separated by a mere second with less than 10 minutes remaining in the race. Fans came to their feet as cars fought for position going three and four-wide with GTD cars and making evasive moves to avoid catastrophe.
While rain threatened the area, teams continued on their Continental slick tires which provided the confidence and grip needed to maneuver around the 20-turn track. While there were many heated battles, Pruett never lost the lead and took the team’s second win of the season with co-driver Rojas. The No. 42 took home second while the No. 5 finished third and maintained their points lead.
Rayhall Takes PC Win, CORE autosports Takes Driver Championship
As the podium shook out, it looked like Groundhog Day in the Prototype Challenge (PC) class. Up-and-comer, Sean Rayhall, piloted the No. 25 8Star Motorsports machine to the pole and ultimately, victory but not before a spin that sent the team to the back of the field. Following contact with Colin Braun, Rayhall gathered up the car and continued to navigate traffic all the way back to the front. Rayhall and co-driver, Luis Diaz, partnered to win for the second race in a row while the No. 54 CORE autosport team finished second and the No. 8 team finished third, the same podium lineup as Virginia International Raceway. The CORE autosport duo of, Braun and Jon Bennett, secured the PC driver championship.
It’s Win Number Two for SRT
Coming into Saturday’s race, a Ferrari, Porsche and BMW were tied for the points lead. But things change fast in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship and when the checkered flag fell Saturday afternoon, it was the No. 33 Dodge SRT taking the win with drivers, Ben Keating and Jeroen Bleekemolen. The No. 44 Magnus Porsche with, John Potter and Andy Lally, found its way back to the podium with a second-place finish while the No. 300 Turner Motorsports BMW team finished third in their 300th start. The third-place finish shook up the points and Turner Motorsports now leads the Alex Job Porsche team in the point standings.
Take a look at our snapshot of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship .
Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Recap
Fall-Line BMW Wins on Continental Rain Tires
Friday’s two hour, thirty minute Grand Sport (GS) race was plagued by rain in parts of the 20-turn Circuit of the Americas (COTA) course. As the race wore on, the windshield wipers came out as well as the Continental wet tires. Some teams opted for the wet tires early while others didn’t take them at all. The No. 46 Fall-Line BMW M3 piloted by, Trent Hindman and John Edwards, took rain tires during the final pit stop and managed to be the only car on the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge podium with wet tires.
“We were one of the last teams to make the final pit stop,” said Hindman. “We were looking at the radar and John had to hang in there and keep it on the road so as soon as we came in, we put on rain tires. By the way, the Continental rain tires are pretty fantastic. Either way it just came down to strategy and just trying to be as patient as possible.”
The No. 97 Turner BMW M3 with drivers, Michael Marsal and Tom Kimber-Smith, finished second and the No. 158 Mustang Boss 302R with drivers, Ian James and Billy Johnson, finished third, both cars on Continental Tire slick tires.
Entire ST Podium Stays on Continental Slicks in the Rain
With the track about 50 percent wet and 50 percent dry, it was a mixed-bag when it came to which tire to use, Continental dry or wet’s. The top-three Street Tuner (ST) team’s in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge opted for dry tires and put their skills to the test. Under what most would consider dicey track conditions, the No. 75 Compass 360 Honda Civic with drivers, Kyle Gimple and Ryan Eversley, locked in their second win of the season.
“We had a lot of confidence coming into the race for the slick tires on wet pavement because we almost won Watkins Glen last year in sporadic torrential downpours on slicks,” said Eversley. “So coming into this weekend, when we saw there was going to be rain, we knew the Continental’s were going to be good at going from wet to dry to wet to dry. And to be able to cool the tire down, helps us a little bit with the front-wheel drive cars. We knew if we could get in a situation like that, we’d be able to stay on slicks, have confidence in our speed, and keep our pace up.”
The No. 56 Murillo Porsche Cayman finished second with drivers, Jeff Mosing and Eric Foss, and extended their points lead. Crossing the line third it was the No. 25 Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5 of bothers Matt and Mark Pombo.
Take a look at our snapshot of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race.
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About Continental Tire the Americas
Based in Fort Mill, S.C., Continental Tire the Americas, LLC manufactures and distributes a complete premium line of passenger, light truck and commercial tires for original equipment and replacement markets. Our ultra-high, performance tires include award-winning technologies that focus on safety, help save money, and reduce CO2 emissions. Continental’s premium products are available at leading independent tire dealers, car dealers, and mass retail companies across North America. Continental Tire is a proud supporter of IMSA, Major League Soccer (MLS), West Coast Customs, Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, and Petty’s Garage.
About Continental AG
With provisional sales of around €33.3 billion in 2013, Continental is one of the world’s leading automotive suppliers. As a provider of brake systems, systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires, and technical elastomers, Continental contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also an expert partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently employs around 178,000 people in 49 countries.
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