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Shelby GT350R-C Mustangs Finish Fourth and Sixth At CTSC Laguna Seca Race

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Shelby GT350R-C Mustangs Finish Fourth and Sixth At CTSC Laguna Seca Race

SALINAS, California (April 30th, 2016) Courtesy of Ford Performance Billy Johnson and the Multimatic Motorsports team pitted from the lead under caution with 43 minutes left to go in the hopes that fresher tires would help them beat the lighter and quicker Porsche Caymans gaining ground behind them.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough and the team’s 2016 podium streak ended at the third Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race of the year.

Johnson, whose co-driver Scott Maxwell started the No. 15 Multimatic on the front row in P2, was in good shape before that final full-course yellow with enough fuel and tires to finish the race, knowing the rest of the field would need one last stop if the race finished under green.

“The Ford Performance Multimatic team did an excellent job with pit strategy and we had the best pit strategy out there,” said Johnson, who brought the No. 15 home at P4. “If we hadn’t had that last caution, we would’ve been in an excellent position for a podium or at least contested for it, based on our gap and how quickly they were catching us. It was going to be close. It was going to be a good race. Unfortunately, we got the yellow and we were just going to be a sitting duck.

“We were the slowest car on equal tires, so the only chance we had was to pit from the lead to dead last and take four tires when no one else did. It proved to be the right thing, because our sister car (Compass360 Racing) started P1 on that restart and finished last (of the cars running). We just didn’t have anything to give. We were way off pace on brand-new tires. I don’t think the team could’ve done anything better. We had great pit stops and strategy. I couldn’t have asked anything more from our Ford Shelby GT350R-C. It was well-balanced, handling great.”

Johnson and Maxwell won the season-opener at Daytona before finishing second at Sebring. Now they’ll have a two-month break before heading to Watkins Glen on June 30.

The No. 76 Ford Shelby GT350R-C of Compass360 finished P6 after leading laps as well.

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“In hindsight, I think we’re just fighting an uphill battle here and that’s as good as we’re going to do,” Maxwell said. “The car was good. The crew did great stops. Our strategy was spot-on. We took a chance early and got off-strategy with everyone else, hoping for a green until the end, because we didn’t need to pit again. When we got the yellow, we lost that advantage. Every decision we made on strategy was the right one. It’s frustrating, but we get points. The team did great. The car was great. We couldn’t have done anything different. It’s not like we’re walking away saying ‘we should’ve done this.’ We did all we could.”

Photos Courtesy of Ford Performance