Continental Tire Challenge reaches season halfway mark
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park fifth race in 10-race schedule.
This weekend’s stop at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park near Toronto is the halfway mark for the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, race number five in a 10-race season that began in January at Daytona International Speedway, and ends in October at Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.
In the Grand Sport class, Andrew Davis and Robin Liddell, drivers of the No. 6 Stevenson Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R, have a healthy lead in the drivers standings, with 132 points, compared to brothers Hugh and Matt Plumb, in second with 118 points. They drive the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche 911.
Davis and Liddell have won the last three races, and their team Camaro, the No. 9, won at CTMP last year. It’s a streak Chevrolet has no intention of ending. “Three victories in a row is a remarkable accomplishment for our Camaro Z/28.R program,” said Jim Lutz, Chevrolet program manager for the Camaro Z/28.R.
In Street Tuner, the points battle is closer, with Andrew Carbonell and Liam Dwyer, the U.S. Marine who suffered the loss of a leg in battle and drives with the use of a prosthesis, up front in their No. 26 Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5. The pair’s win at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca helped them squeeze out a two-point lead over three drivers tied for the next spot – Stevan McAleer, Chad McCumbee and Justin Piscitell.
McAleer and McCumbee drive the No. 5 Mazda MX-5 for major league baseball pitcher C.J. Wilson’s race team, while Piscitell drives the No. 34 Alara Racing Mazda MX-5.
Saturday’s race, held on the 2.459-mile permanent road course, is the series’ only stop outside the U.S. this season, and the Canadian teams that race with the Continental Tire Challenge are looking forward to some home-field advantage.
Mantella Motorsport and Compass 360, both Toronto-based teams, will be racing this weekend, as will Multimatic, which debuted the Ford Shelby Mustang GT350R-C in the most recent race in Watkins Glen, N.Y. two weeks ago, where driver Scott Maxwell of Toronto won the TOTAL Pole Award.
“We’ve proved the car is fast and we’re going to some tracks we like and I think we’ll be a threat for the rest of the year, especially at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, my home track,” said Maxwell, who is a key part of the development team for Multimatic on the new Ford GT, being readied for GT Le Mans competition next year in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship. He will share his Mustang with Billy Johnson.
Mantella Autosport will field two Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.Rs, driven by Anthony Mantella and Mark Wilkins in the No. 8, and Kyle Marcelli Martin Barkey driving the No. 80. Compass360 will field the No. 74 Audi S3 for Jim McGuire and Nico Rondet, and Paul Holton and Kyle Gimple will be in the No. 75 Audi S3.
“It will be great to spend time at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in a racing environment with the people who are as passionate as we are about racing success,” Mantella said.
A dozen GS cars and two dozen ST cars are on the entry list for the two-hour, 30-minute race, which takes the green flag on Saturday at 1:25 p.m. ET, and will be streamed live on IMSA.com and on the IMSA mobile app. The race will air on Fox Sports 1 July 19 from noon to 2 p.m. ET.
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