Cinderella Story for Multimatic Motorsports in Connecticut

Cinderella Story for Multimatic Motorsports in Connecticut

LAKEVILLE, Connecticut (July 25th, 2015) – After enduring an up and down weekend at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP) round of the Continental Tire SportsCar Championship (CTSC), Multimatic showed up at the newly renovated Lime Rock Park with a brand new #15 Shelby GT350R-C and erased all memories of the previous race’s disaster by winning from the back of the grid. To make the achievement even grander, the #158 CTMP winner finished right behind its sister Mustang making it a perfect day for Ford Performance (FP) and Multimatic. It was a fraught week and a half at the team’s Toronto factory as the #15 had been written off at Mosport due to an unfortunate and unnecessary incident with a backmarker, and so a new car had to be built from scratch. With big help from FP, the team got it all done in an amazing five days, and rolled out on track for first practice with the now-famous green-striped GT350R-C garnering significant attention, and crowds of onlookers asking if it was fixed or all new. Both Mustangs performed strongly in the limited practice sessions and the new car ran flawlessly off of the trailer, a testament to the skill of car chief Jeff Ripley and his team. It was CTMP winner Austin Cindric’s first-ever visit to the short, hilly bullring but he quickly got onto the pace with the comment that it was just like the video game.

Despite the #15 displaying absolutely no issues through any of the practice sessions, when qualifying came around and Scott Maxwell rolled down the pit lane, the luck briefly came to an end as an electronic glitch with the throttle-by-wire system stopped the car in its tracks. As the rules specifically prohibit the crew from touching the car during the qualifying session, the #15 had to frustratingly sit in its pit box for fifteen minutes. However, proving that maybe gaming really is a valid way to learn the nuances of a race track, young Cindric qualified P4 amongst the established stars.

D1507LR4340WGAMaxwell was totally hooked-up from the green and drove to the front, aided in part by the #6 Stevenson Camaro taking out the #13 Rum Bum Porsche in an aggressive bit of argy-bargy while buried in lapped traffic. This effectively eliminated two strong competitors in one incident and with Cindric struggling on degrading rear tires, Maxwell passed his teammate and then took the lead as the #9 Camaro pitted from the front. One lap later the two Multimatic Mustangs came down the lane together and the team executed a superb pair of full-service stops installing fresh drivers, fresh tires and sending them side by side down the lane with enough fuel to get to the finish. Before the stops, Maxwell was 10.5 seconds back from the leading Camaro and when everything sorted out the Multimatic cars were a mere two seconds in arrears, the Multimatic crew’s impeccable pit work gaining eight seconds in the lane.

Billy Johnson in the #15 and Jade Buford in the #158 then proceeded to run down the #9 Stevenson Camaro while being hotly pursued by two very fast Nissans and the recovering #6 Camaro. Johnson took the lead with 45 minutes to go, executing a perfect doorhandle-rubbing pass of Lawson Aschenbach’s leading Chevy up over the Jump and down the Backstraight, taking the inside line advantage into West Bend. Five minutes later Buford made it through into second as the #9 came out worse during an altercation with an ST car. Johnson was then able to control the race pace for the final thirty minutes with no major threat from behind while Buford had to work hard to hang on to his position as the #158’s rear tires degraded and a very fast BJ Zacharias in the #14 Nissan pressured for the final 15 minutes.

Highlights of the weekend were as follows:

  • 07252015_CTSC_LimeRock_Race_v0The newly built #15 Shelby GT350R-C Mustang ran fast and flawless right off the trailer. A small electrical glitch in qualifying forced it to start at the back but it never faltered when it counted.
  • The new Shelby bagged its first 1-2 finish in the 2015 CTSC with a great run from the back for the #15 and a spectacular defense of second with Buford making the #158 very wide at the end.
  • The newly refurbished Lime Rock Park has now become an absolute shining star of the calendar. The paddocks and facilities are truly fantastic.

Multimatic Motorsports Team Principal, Larry Holt, commented: “A 1-2 finish with the new Shelby is an absolute dream come true in only its third race. And it sure wasn’t easy with a car built in a week and then starting it from the back… we sometimes really do things the hard way. I feel bad for Joe Varde and the whole Rum Bum outfit because I think that they would have been tough to beat if the crash hadn’t happened. But for sure Billy was dialed-in at the end of the race and looked untouchable. The #158 was the widest Mustang I’ve seen in many years for the last 15 minutes and I have to give massive credit to Jade because Zacharias said it was totally clean racing; the guy is all class as the word “blocking” was never mentioned. I have always really enjoy racing against Kevin Doran’s team, good aggressive, clean racing with no issues. Unfortunately I can’t say the same for everybody else on the track… but that is all I can say.”

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Sean Mason
Multimatic Motorsports
+1 905-470-0025