Fort Mill, S.C.
Ford Performance Development Driver Chase Briscoe, along with Austin Cindric, Cole Custer and Ty Majeski team with IMSA champion driver Scott Maxwell as part of a two-car Mustang GT4 team in the GS class at Daytona
PHOTO CREDIT: Ford Performance
There will be a few new faces in this year’s BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona, which marks Round 1 of the 2018 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. Ford Performance Development Driver Chase Briscoe, along with Austin Cindric, Cole Custer and Ty Majeski will be joined by IMSA champion driver, Scott Maxwell as part of a two-car Mustang GT4 team in the Grand Sport (GS) class.
While Briscoe, Custer, and Majeski all have a background in NASCAR oval racing, the road racing dimension of the sport is new to them. Maxwell will serve as mentor to the team while Cindric, who has several years of experience in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, will also serve as a valuable resource.
“I have a lot of experience in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge – we have an awesome line up of drivers,” said Cindric. “Cole (Custer), Chase (Briscoe) and Ty (Majeski) are all very talented. This is a unique experience for those guys. It’s a new world and I think they’ve adapted to it really well and impressed a lot of guys on the team. I’m excited to be a part of it. It’s something that no other manufacturers are doing - cross pollinating development programs. That’s really exciting for me because that’s what my career has been about – doing as many different things that I can. Ford has invested in many different platforms and this is another example of it.”
When it comes to racing on a road course rather than on an oval, there’s a lot more to it than just the differences in turning right or left.
“I’ve never experienced multiple classes and the different speeds of the cars before,” said Majeski of the multi-class racing. “I’m new to this so all the cars look the same to me, and I can’t tell what division is what, so it’s hard for me to predict the closing rates at this point in time. It’s surprising because the speed differences are 10-20 seconds in some of the cars and the closing rates are really fast. It’s just a different atmosphere on the race track.”
Briscoe echoed Majeski’s sentiments, reiterating the extra challenge that multi-class racing presents.
“I’ve only run two road course races in my entire life and I’m still learning every lap,” said Briscoe. “We spent the Roar trying to get as many laps as we could in the car. So far, I’ve had a blast. Traffic has been the biggest thing. Especially in practice because it’s hard to get a good lap in because you’re always catching one of the slower classes. It’s definitely different, but it’s going to be a lot of fun during the race just because you’re constantly going to be racing around people and as a racecar driver that’s what you look forward to. It’ll be fun, that’s for sure.”
The drivers are all in agreement on the ‘fun factor’ of the Mustang GT4.
“It’s the nicest car you can get into in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series,” said Custer. “(Our team) Multimatic has a really good idea of the setup they want to run too, so it’s made it easier for us to step into. We’ve done some road courses in NASCAR but we all need as much help as we can so it’s definitely been a great thing for Ford to have this program for us to kind of get some more experience and better our skills on a road course.”
Something else new for the NASCAR trio? Driver changes, which the drivers admit will need some practice.
“We’ll need to practice those for sure, it took me a long time to get in my car this morning!” laughed Majeski.
IMSA Radio will feature LIVE coverage of the BMW Endurance Challenge at www.imsa.tv on Friday, January 26 at 12:50 PM ET. The race will be televised on Saturday, February 10 at 8:00 AM ET on FS1.