The 2016 edition of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge consisted of ten-events (Daytona, Sebring, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Watkins Glen, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP), Lime Rock, Road America, Virginia International Raceway, Circuit of the Americas and Road Atlanta) for showroom stock cars. The races were 2-hours and 30-minutes in length. The cars were relatively unchanged from their road going versions – modifications were mandated primarily for safety – roll cages, window nets, etc. They were also required to use tires provided by series sponsor Continental.

Based on performance potential, the cars were divided into one of two groups – Grand Sport or Street Tuner:

  • Grand Sport: The quicker of the two groups, this class included cars such as the Chevrolet Camaro GS.R, Ford Shelby GT350R-C, Aston Martin Vantage, Nissan 370Z and Porsche Cayman GT4. Vehicles competing in the category produced between 400 - 500 horsepower and were capable of speeds over 175-mph.

  • Street Tuner: This class was for smaller sedans and sports car with four or six-cylinder engines. Popular vehicles found in this group were the BMW 328i, Honda Civic Si, Porsche Cayman, Mazda MX-5, Nissan Altima, Audi S3 and MINI JCW. The cars in this class produce between 220 – 280-horsepower.

Close competitive racing with cars that fans could relate to contributed to the popularity of the series. It also provided an environment for automotive manufacturers to test and showcase their products.

The fifth round of the 2016 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season took place at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. It was a support event to the WeatherTech series and shared the weekend with Mazda MX-5 Cup, Nissan Micra Cup and the IMSA Mazda Prototype Lites series. Thirty-three entries would compete in the 2-hour and 30-minute race around the 2.459-mile ten-turn road course.

The start of round five of the 2016 Continental SportsCar Challenge and twenty-seven Street Tuner entries funnel into Canadian Tire Motorsport Park’s very fast corner one. Leading the way is the CJ Wilson MX-5 driven by Chad McCumbee. McCumbee who qualified second got the jump on pole-sitter James Clay. Also making a good start was the No. 92 HART Honda Civic Si shared by Cameron Lawrence and Kevin Boehm.
The No. 84 Bimmer World Racing entered BMW 328i rounds turn three spewing coolant during Friday’s first practice session. The car finally stopped at Moss corner and brought out a red flag – halting the session. Despite this issue, the team made repairs and team principal; James Clay was the fast qualifier in Street Tuner. Clay shared the car with Tyler Cooke and at the checkered flag they were eleventh in class.
The Bimmer World incident left a trail of coolant from turn two to Moss corner. Many drivers were caught off guard. The Mazda MX-5 shared by Bob Stretch and Christian Szymczak had the ‘biggest moment’. The car slid off the track a corner three and got stuck on the tire barrier – the track’s safety personnel were required to free the Mazda. Damage was minimal and the team started eighteenth in Street Tuner and finished nineteenth.
It was almost a ‘clean sweep’ for the Multimatic Motorsports Ford Shelby GT350R-C. It began when Scott Maxwell set a new lap record and earned the overall and Grand Sport pole position. From there he and co-driver, Billy Johnson led the most laps to take their second victory of the season. The only goal they did not achieve was the fastest race lap – this was set by Paul Holton driving another Shelby built by Multimatic.
Qualifying second overall and in Grand Sport was the CJ Wilson Racing No. 33 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, shared by Danny Burkett and Marc Miller. Burkett was just 0.194-seconds slower than pole-sitter Scott Maxwell. At the checkered flag, the duo finished second in class – 11.271-seconds behind the winning Ford.
In the past, Owen Trinkler and Sarah Cattaneo have shared cars manufactured by Honda and Mini. But the recent switch to Nissan has brought them some early success. The Nissan Altima Coupe started from the twenty-fifth grid position. But with an excellent race strategy and some good driving the team scored the class victory in only the second start for the new car.
Driving the No. 25 Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5 were Chad McCumbee and Stevan McAleer. McCumbee qualified the car second just 0.116-seconds behind the Street Tuner pole-sitter James Clay. At the start, McCumbee got a great start and led the class for the first part of the race. Contact during the event loosened the bumper and dropped them down the order. The duo finished tenth overall and sixth in class.
The Honda American Race Team entered two Honda Civics. The cars qualified third and fourth in Street Tuner. The No. 93 Si driven by Chad Gilsinger and Ryan Eversley was the quicker of the two Hondas. The car led much of the race but with just nine-minutes remaining the team was passed for the lead – they would eventually drop to a third place finish in Street Tuner.
The No. 36 Strategic Wealth Racing Porsche Cayman sustained some damage during the race. Matthew Dicken and his co-driver, Corey Lewis started from the twenty-ninth on the grid and finished twenty-fifth overall and twenty-first in Street Tuner.
With just minutes remaining in the race Spencer Pumpelly driving RS1 Porsche Cayman was in the lead. Unfortunately for Pumpelly, he encountered some oil on the track and slid wide allowing the Nissan Altima Coupe driven by Owen Trinkler to take the lead and win. Pumpelly started the No. 18, tenth in Street Tuner and shared the driving duties with Nick Galante. The pair left CTMP with the points lead still intact.
The Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Grand Sport podium at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. On the left are second place finishers Marc Miller and Danny Burkett and at the right are Paul Holton and Pierre Kleinubing. Between these two are the winners, Scott Maxwell and Billy Johnson. The battle for the Grand Sport victory was exciting but the category lost some of its appeal as there were only four entries.

POS.CLASSDRIVERSCARLAPSRETIREMENTS
1GSScott Maxwell / Billy JohnsonFord Shelby GT350R-C95-
2GSDaniel Burkett / Marc MillerPorsche Cayman GT495-
3GSPaul Holton / Pierre KleinubingFord Shelby GT350R-C95-
4GSCameron Cassels / Trent HindmanPorsche Cayman GT493-
5STSarah Cattaneo / Owen TrinklerNissan Altima93-
6STNick Galante / Spencer PumpellyPorsche Cayman93-
7STChad Gilsinger / Ryan EversleyHonda Civic Si93-
8STChad Gilsinger / Ryan EversleyMINI JCW93-
9STJeff Mosing / Eric FossPorsche Cayman93-
10STChad McCumbee / Stevan McAleerMazda MX-592-
11STKevin Boehm / Cameron LawrenceHonda Civic Si92-
12STRemo Ruscitti / Aaron SongPorsche Cayman92-
13STJason Rabe / Devin JonesPorsche Cayman92-
14STAndrew Carbonell / Liam DwyerMazda MX-592-
15STJames Clay / Tyler CookeBMW 328i92-
16STKris Wright / Andy LeePorsche Cayman92-
17STElliott Skeer / Sam AdamsPorsche Cayman92-
18STDanny Bender / Britt Casey Jr.Mazda MX-592-
19STJerry Kaufman / Kyle TilleyBMW 328i92-
20STDan Rogers / Seth ThomasPorsche Cayman92-
21STJim McGuire / Nico RondetAudi S391-
22STGreg Strelzoff / Connor BloumPorsche Cayman91-
23STBob Stretch / Christian SzymczakMazda MX-591-
24STEthan Low / Mark PomboMINI JCW91-
25STMatthew Dicken / Corey LewisPorsche Cayman91-
26STMichael Johnson / Stephen SimpsonBMW 228i91-
27STRobin Liddell / Theo BeanPorsche Cayman91-
28STRamin Abdolvahabi / James VanceMINI JCW90-
29STRoy Block / Kyle GimpleAudi S388-
30STGreg Liefooghe / Ari BaloghPorsche Cayman51Not Running
31STBrent Mosing / Tim Probert / Justin PiscitellBMW 328i11No Running


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