SEBRING, Fla –Courtesy of Ford Performance –The Ford Mustang GT4 has earned its first checkered flag, just one race after its debut, as Scott Maxwell carried the No. 60 NanoProMT/Ford Performance Ford Mustang GT4 to the win with a commanding drive for KohR Motorsports at Sebring International Raceway.
Maxwell drove the second half of the race after his teammate Jade Buford started on pole. It marked Ford’s 50th win in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series and first for KohR Motorsports with Ford.
“The car ran flawlessly and the strategy was perfect,” Maxwell said. “It feels good to get the first win for the Ford Mustang GT4. We were so close at Daytona, and in my mind, Sebring is just as special. It was a good win for KohR and Ford Performance and NanoProMT and we earned it.”
The win mirrors the debut of the last Ford Mustang to take on the series. The Ford Shelby Mustang GT350R-C won its second race after debuting at Watkins Glen in 2015, then captured the Grand Sport championship title in 2016.
“We were able to qualify on pole, which is a great start, but at the end of the weekend we wanted to bring it home in the same position,” Buford said. “We planned on executing the best race we could, lead from the start, do our best to stay there, make clean stops and just do our best to control our own destiny. Scott did a great job. The team did a great job of getting us in and out of the pits as fast as possible. We had a brilliant strategy. We did exactly what we planned on doing.”
“It’s great to get that first win for the Ford Mustang GT4 race car,” said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. “In its two races so far, it’s showing beyond a doubt that it has the potential to carry on Ford Mustang’s winning legacy into the future. We can’t wait for customers to be able to race it around the world. Our congratulations to Scott and Jade on a terrific race today. And to KohR Motorsports for their first win with us.”
The Visit Sebring 120 featured dramatic highs and lows for KohR. After starting p3, the No. 59 NanoProMT/Roush Performance Ford Mustang GT4 of team owner Dean Martin and co-driver Jack Roush Jr. abruptly lost power 40 minutes into the race, suffering a suspected battery issue. It later rejoined the race and finished p14, 23 laps down.
“It’s great,” Martin said. “We knew it was going to come soon. We just had to beat the gremlins. We managed to do that with the No. 60 car today. Jade and Scott drove a fantastic race. The crew chief called a great race. It just went according to plan, which is unusual. With the No. 59, we just had a little bad luck. We had a good run. Jack pushed all the way up to p4 after starting in the back, we were just biding our time waiting for a caution to bunch the field up, then unfortunately had the battery issue before that happened. Highs and lows.
“The Multimatic guys built a great car. Ford Performance has done a great job with the engineering. We just need to get through the gremlins. It’s a brand-new car, so it’ll come. We’ll be patient.”