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Strong Run for Focus ST-R at Watkins Glen Keeps Multimatic Motorsports in Reach of CTSCC ST Championship

Strong Run for Focus ST-R at Watkins Glen Keeps Multimatic Motorsports in Reach of CTSCC ST Championship

WATKINS GLEN, New York (June 30th, 2012) – For the third race in the month of June the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge visited the legendary Watkins Glen long circuit in support of the famed Sahlen’s Six Hours at The Glen sports car event. Multimatic Motorsports arrived in the picturesque Finger Lakes district with little sleep after spending the short time since the previous weekend’s Road America race building a brand new ST-R. The team was determined to bring the cars back to form after an extremely frustrating weekend in Wisconsin, dominated by bad luck and serious crashes, and despite a few early struggles, managed to earn another top five finish at The Glen. James Gue and Gunnar Jeanette kept the #15 Ford Focus in the top five for the majority of the race, going wheel to wheel with the championship leading cars, before finishing a strong P4. The brand new #16 car, with local driver Bret Seafuse rejoining Nick Mancuso behind the wheel after missing the previous event, finished a respectable P14 in the supremely competitive ST class. Both cars took turns leading the race and even ran one-two for a period, underlining the continually improving performance of the Ford Focus ST-R. Highlights of the weekend were as follows:

  • After having the #16 Focus destroyed at Road America in somebody else’s accident, the Multimatic Ford Focus team rallied back to Canada and in a three day thrash, managed to assemble a new car just in time to leave for New York. In true CTSCC fashion, the fresh Focus only lasted two practice sessions before having its right-side doors smashed by a passing GS car. Fortunately, the incident caused only superficial damage. The team once again struggled out of the box and was slightly off pace in the first couple of sessions but a great engineer-driver effort facilitated quick improvement, consistently making productive changes to the car’s setup. By final practice both cars were in the top 15, within a second of the leaders’ times. Qualifying saw further improvement as the #15 car qualified Q8, with the #16 in Q10, only a few tenths off the pole.
  • The race was once again slowed by numerous cautions, including another first lap incident.  Gue steadily moved the #15 up to P4 in the 11 laps of green racing he was given, before coming to the pits during the second full course yellow.  The team again opted for alternative strategies, bringing the #15 in early with the three leading cars and leaving the #16 to inherit the lead in hopes that the other cars would need to pit again.  Thanks to a fantastic stop by the #15 team, Jeanette returned to the track ahead of many competitors and, after another quick caution, cycled to P2 directly behind Mancuso in the #16.  The Focus ST-Rs ran P1 and P2 until the next caution when Mancuso handed off to Seafuse and Jeanette inherited the lead.
  • The #16 car fell down the order with the late pit-stop but if the race had remained green, the leaders, including Jeanette, would have needed to pit. The opposite situation was required for the #15 to succeed as the team knew they were 15 minutes short on fuel and only yellows could help them conserve. The Focus has a smaller fuel cell than some competitors, making the gamble even more risky. Fortunately, three short yellows came in the final 45 minutes and Jeanette was able to make the checkered despite calculations showing the fuel level being past critical. The #15 lost a few positions to the incredibly quick HART Civic and championship leader Pierre Kleinubing to finish a fantastic P4 and Seafuse battled the #16 up to P14 despite the unlucky strategy. Jeanette and Gue now sit eighth in the championship and Multimatic Motorsports is seventh in team points. The Focus ST-R team now looks forward to the first ever Grand-Am stop at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway to continue improving the car and their championship position.

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Contact Info:

Sean Mason or Stephen Charsley
Multimatic Motorsports
+1 905-470-0025
racepr@multimatic.com