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Ford Shelby GT350R-C Right at Home in Daytona Debut

Ford Shelby GT350R-C Right at Home in Daytona Debut

January 29th, 2016 Courtesy of IMSABilly Johnson pulled away on a restart with 20 minutes remaining and held on to win Friday’s BMW Performance 200, leading a one-two sweep in the Daytona International Speedway debut of the Ford Shelby GT350R-C in the opening round of the 2016 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.

Driving the No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports Shelby started by Scott Maxwell, Johnson held off Pierre Kleinubing in the No. 76 Compass360 Racing AERO Advanced Paint Technology/Children’s Tumor Foundation/Spyder Active Sports entry started by Paul Holton.

“We knew we had a good car right away this morning,” Maxwell said. “I’m not used to starting, but when you have a guy like Billy, your job is to get him a good position to go at the end, which he always does and did today.”

It was the third overall Daytona triumph for both drivers, while Johnson added a Street Tuner (ST) class triumph in 2007 when he was driving an Acura for Compass360 Racing.

“It was great to see the other GT350R-C get up to speed,” Johnson said. “I’m sure Compass360 will keep waving the Ford banner for the rest of the season.”

Marc Miller finished third in the international competition debut of the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, the No. 33 CJ Wilson Racing entry started by Daniel Burkett.

Matt and Hugh Plumb were looking to score their second consecutive Daytona victory in the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche 997. The brothers led 32 of the opening 54 circuits. Johnson passed Matt Plumb on the outside in Turn 1 with 32 minutes remaining. The caution waved for the third and final time two laps later, but on the restart, Johnson pulled away as the Porsche stumbled with a fuel delivery problem.

Johnson held off Kleinubing by 2.328 seconds at the finish, while Plumb held on to finish fifth behind the No. 99 Automatic Racing Invisible Glass Aston Martin Vantage of Rob Ecklin Jr. and Al Carter.

Checkered flag