Four-Week Layoff Ends For Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Teams It has been four weeks since the last Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race, but competitors return to action for the third annual Garden State 250 at 2:45 p.m. ET...
Four-Week Layoff Ends For Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Teams
It has been four weeks since the last Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race, but competitors return to action for the third annual Garden State 250 at 2:45 p.m. ET Saturday at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Grand Sport championship leaders Charles Espenlaub and Charlie Putman (No. 48 Fall-Line/Sparco BMW M3) enter the eighth of 10 rounds on the 2010 circuit with a 17-point advantage (206-189) in the standings over Joey Hand and Michael Marsal (No. 97 Turner Motorsport BMW M3). Espenlaub and Putman have not finished worse than sixth, and have four podium finishes in seven races.
Historically speaking, the leaders with three races remaining on the schedule have won two of the last three titles (2008 season excluded).
New ST Points Leaders Look To Stay There: Seth Thomas and Bill Heumann (No. 81 Performance Friction/RAYS Engineering BMW 328i) find themselves atop the Street Tuner championship points standings following their second victory of 2010 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Thomas and Heumann lead the championship by only one point though (212-211), as the pair tries to give the team, BimmerWorld/GearWrench, a title in its rookie season.
"Coming off a great race at Mid-Ohio I think we have a huge momentum swing in our favor," Thomas said. "New Jersey has been good to our cars for speed in the past where we qualified second in a different series last year. Also, the track is very similar to Mid-Ohio with a fast long straight and a very tight technical section. (But) we will have to rely more on the suspension tuning and pit strategy that has helped us run up at the front all year."
The team's other drivers are David White and team owner James Clay (No. 80 Performance Friction/RAYS Engineering BMW 328i).
New ST Points Leaders Look To Stay There: Second in the championship standings are a pair of drivers who led the points after the first six races. Lawson Aschenbach and David Thilenius (No. 74 Skunk2/HPD Honda Civic Si), have two victories, yet a cut tire in the most recent race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course forced a late pit stop and a 10th-place finish, the pair's worst result of 2010.
The pair takes to the track Saturday at a place where Compass360 made history last season, earning an unprecedented podium sweep in the Street Tuner class. Aschenbach and Thilenius's No. 74 Honda Civic Si won the race.
This season, the team is fielding four cars at each race, so a 1-2-3-4 sweep could trump even the record effort from 2009. The other drivers are Ryan Eversley and Zach Lutz (No. 75 Skunk2/JC Concrete Honda Civic Si); John Kuitwaard and Benoit Theetge (No. 76 Skunk2/Carmen & Camille Honda Civic Si); and Alex Kirby and Gregory Liefooghe (No. 77 C360R/Exclusive Management Honda Civic Si).
Ted Anthony Jr. Joins Mitchum: Mitchum Motorsports has picked up rookie Ted Anthony Jr. (No. 62 Atterbury Racing Camaro) to drive for the team the remainder of the season.
Anthony, who has a best finish of 15th this season, joins Joey Atterbury at a team that earned its best finish of the season at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course-eighth. Both drivers began the 2010 season with TC Motorsports.
"I am really looking forward to racing the Camaro again, as well as working with Joey and Mitchum Motorsports," Anthony said. "I've been following them all season and have been impressed with the development of the car and the professionalism of the team."
BGB Motorsports Could Compete For Grand Sport Victory
BGB Motorsports team principal John Tecce believes his team can return to victory lane this weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park for a number of reasons.
First, the Camden, N.J., born Tecce, who grew up in nearby Philadelphia, considers the track in essence a hometrack. Secondly, he has already seen one of his cars win there. The No. 83 Porsche 997, campaigned by Craig Stanton and Jon Miller, won at the 2.25-mile track in 2008. This weekend, the No. 83 will be piloted by Tecce and Guy Cosmo.
And third, defending race co-winner Duncan Ende (No. 23 Racer's Roast Coffee Porsche Cayman) has joined the team, and he will drive with Keith Carroll.
All of these things, Tecce said, could help to give BGB its first victory in nearly two seasons.
"There isn't any reason we can't win," Tecce said. "The cars have the speed; we just need to stay out of trouble."
Other New Jersey, Tri-State Natives: In addition to Tecce, there are several other representatives from the Garden State participating in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race this weekend. Frankie Montecalvo (No. 16 Bayshore Recycling/Multimatic Ford Mustang 302R), who hails from Highlands, is the only driver who currently lives in New Jersey. Racers Edge Motorsports team manager Jon Mirachi is from Sparta, and team engineer Jim Pattin is from Sussex-both live in Deland, Fla., currently.
Other area drivers include Al Carter and Hugh Plumb (No. 9 Sunoco/Carter Financial Camaro) from Greenville, Del., and Chadds Ford, Pa., respectively; Andrew Aquilante (No. 35 Subaru of America Subaru WRX STI) from Chester Springs, Pa.; Adam Pecorari (No. 24 Columbus Truck & Equipment BMW 330i) from Aston, Pa.; and Shawn Dewey (No. 64 T. Giovanis Copmany/Tisher BMW 330i) from Townsend, Del.
Longhi Joins Rum Bum Racing: Nick Longhi (No. 13 RumBum.com) will compete with Matt Plumb in the remaining three races of the season. Gian Bacardi has decided to return to school to complete a degree in business administration.