Score Another for the Home Team

Score Another for the Home Team

BOWMANVILLE, Ontario (July 9, 2016) – For the second year in a row, Multimatic Motorsports’ Ford Shelby GT350R-C stole the show at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP), capturing both pole position and the race victory in IMSA’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (CTSC).  A large crowd of Multimatic Engineering staff was on hand for the organization’s annual summer picnic, held on the start-finish line hill, so the achievement was widely celebrated by the gathering of #15 car supporters.

Friday saw Scott Maxwell qualify the Multimatic Shelby Mustang in P1 and then start Saturday’s race in convincing fashion, leading all 38 laps of his opening stint. Maxwell seamlessly navigated lapped ST-class traffic and pushed hard, ultimately putting the #12 Bodymotion Porsche Cayman — which had won the previous three events — a lap down.

Billy Johnson then strapped in during the team’s initial green-flag stop for four tires and fuel. In what was to be a day of perfect execution, Johnson emerged in the lead with a further four-second gap to competitors due to the superior pit work of the Multimatic team and, like Maxwell, fended off the extremely quick #33 Cayman and #76 GT350R-C while surgically slicing his way through the intense lapped traffic.

The event saw only one full-course caution, a six-lap affair starting on lap 46. Team strategy had Johnson stay out of the pits during this extended yellow-flag session, but then dive in for the #15’s second and final stop just as the car entered its green flag fuel window and once again approached the back of the huge ST field. As the Multimatic Mustang was the first of the leaders to pit, and the other GS cars were slowed as they entered the back of the dense and hard fighting ST pack, the team then chose to take only left side tires and a partial fuel load to emerge ahead of the ST leaders, with considerable clear track to come up to speed.  The GS competitors then aped the Multimatic strategy but it was too late and Johnson found himself with a 15-second cushion. Despite the #33 Cayman enjoying a quicker pace thanks to having four new Continentals, the gap was too large to close in the remaining time.  A perfect strategy, outstanding drivers and impeccable pit stops resulted in the #15 GT350R-C leading all but three laps of the race.

Summing up the contest, Billy Johnson said: “Scott’s fast stint early on gave us a gap. He was really good in traffic; I did pretty well in traffic, too, and that was a huge advantage for us. Our pit strategy was fantastic and on-point. All of that helped us manage our tires all the way to the end. It was truly a team win.”

CTSC's sole Canadian round held the smallest GS field so far.

Scott Maxwell added: “From a Ford, Multimatic and personal perspective, this weekend was fantastic. We won on Saturday and CGR won [with the Multimatic-built Ford GT] on Sunday. It’s all good – at your home track in front of your home fans, in front of all the Multimatic employees, it basically seems like a perfect, scripted weekend.”

Highlights of the weekend were as follows:

  • Scott Maxwell’s P1 qualifying performance was his record-breaking 13th pole in the CTSC series
  • The victory broke a three-race win streak by the #12 Porsche Cayman
  • Heading into the next event at Lime Rock Park, Maxwell and Johnson increased their GS-standing lead to 10 points over the #33 Cayman’s Cameron Cassels and Trent Hindman

Multimatic Motorsports Team Principal, Larry Holt, concluded: “Not really very much I can say, it was the perfect race weekend.  Scott and Billy were outstanding and slayed everybody in traffic.  Jeff Ripley’s guys were monster in the pit lane and smoked the competition on tire changes and, even though I say so myself, the strategy was excellent.  Coming in for two lefts just as we caught the back of the ST field generated a gap to the Porsche that Billy felt he needed.  If we both had taken four at the same time then we would have left the lane bumper to bumper and the Cayman had better pace.  Not sure if we could have kept him at bay for that long.  The buffer was enough to relieve the pressure and allow Billy to get the job done in traffic, which he did.  Great weekend for Ford, Ganassi also won on Sunday with superior strategy.  Awesome.”