There were ten race weekends during the 2011 Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season. The schedule kicked off in January at Daytona International Speedway, which was followed by a second event in Florida at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In April, the series would visit Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama and then move on to Virginia International Raceway. Round five would be conducted at Lime Rock Park on Memorial Day weekend. At Lime Rock, the Grand Sport and Street Tuner classes competed separately. The teams traveled Watkins Glen International in June. After this event, race weekends took place at the Road America and, the series on west coast swing, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The penultimate round was conducted in late July at New Jersey Motorsports Park. The finale was held on September 16-17 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The cars in the series are relatively unchanged from their road-going counterparts – modifications are mandated mainly for safety – roll cages, window nets, etc. They also used spec DOT-approved tires produced by Continental. Based on performance potential, the cars were divided into one of two groups:

  • Grand Sport (GS): The quicker of the two classes - the group features the larger displacement engines as well as smaller four-cylinder motors with forced induction systems. The power-plants produce between 350 and 405-horsepower. Minimum weights range between 2,900 – 3,300-pounds, which is dependent on the motor configuration and displacement. This class includes cars such as the BMW M3, Ford Mustang Boss 302 R, Chevrolet Camaro GS.R, Porsche 997 and Porsche Cayman.

  • Street Tuner (ST): The smaller displacement cars compete in this class in which engines typically produce between 170 and 240-horsepower. Popular vehicles found in this group are the Volkswagen GTI, Acura TSX, Mazda Speed 3, Mazda MX-5, Honda Civic Si, BMW 328i, Chevrolet Cobalt SS and Mini Cooper S.

Round one of the 2011, Gran-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge was held at Daytona International Speedway during the Rolex 24 weekend. Competitors would race around the twelve-turn 3.56-mile roval for two-hours and thirty-minutes in the Grand-Am 200.

The Grand Sport podium for the 2011 Gran-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Championship at Daytona. In the center are the winners of the Grand-Am 200, Nick Longhi and Matt Plumb. This was Rum Bum Racing’s second consecutive victory at Daytona. On the right side of the rostrum are the second-place finishers, Scott Maxwell and Joe Foster. Completing the podium are Paul Dalla Lana and Bill Auberlen.
Nick Longhi joined Rum Bum Racing and Matt Plumb in the penultimate round of 2010. The combination was proving to be unbeatable. They won the final two races last season in the No. 13 BMW M3 and did the same at this year’s opening event. The team changed drivers during the first round of pit-stops. The final lap finished under caution, which prevented Plumb from being challenged for the victory.
The No. 171 APR Motorsport Volkswagen GTI started on the Street Tuner pole compliments of Ryan Ellis. Ellis led the first twenty-seven-laps before handing the driving duties over to Ian Baas. Baas took the class lead, and what would become the victory, with six-laps remaining in the event. It was the first series win for Ellis and the second for Baas at Daytona. He won the GT category at the 2006 Rolex 24.
Joe Foster qualified on the outside of the front row for the Grand-Am 200 at Daytona International Speedway. Before handing the driving duties over to Scott Maxwell, Foster led laps-10-26. Maxwell drove the No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang Boss 302 R to the front of the field. Unfortunately, for him, a full course yellow prevented Maxwell from challenging Matt Plumb for the victory.
Kinetic Motorsports entered two Kia Forte Koup in last season’s Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge series. As expected, the cars had to be developed and experienced teething issues. At Daytona International Speedway, the team’s year of development paid off. The No. 10 Kia was shared by Andy Lally and the team principal, Nic Jonsson. They started eighteenth in Street Tuner but finished second.
In 2011, BimmerWorld joined the Grand Sport ranks with two BMW M3. But they continued their Street Tuner program with a pair of BMW 328i. Driving the No. 81 BimmerWorld Racing prepared 328i were John Capestro-Dubets and Greg Liefooghe. Liefooghe had some success last season with the Compass360 team. Capestro-Dubets qualified and started seven in class. Liefooghe drove the final stint and finished third.
Co-driving the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M3 were sportscars veteran, Bill Auberlen and former Canadian Touring car competitor, Paul Dalla Lana. The pair teamed up last year, but they had a difficult season, their best result was a fifth place in round three at Barber. At Daytona, Dalla Lana qualified seventh overall. During his stint, Auberlen caught the leaders and captured the final spot on the Grand Sport podium.
A record that included one victory, four podiums and no finishes outside the top-ten was enough for Charlie Putman and Charles Espenlaub to earn last year’s Grand Sport championship. In 2011, they returned to defend their title in a Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3. During the qualifying session, Putman was the third fastest. The driver change took place on lap-24 and Espenlaub moved up the order to finish fourth.
Last season’s Street Tuner champions, Lawson Aschenbach and David Thilenius went their separate ways in 2011. Aschenbach moved to the Grand Sport division, driving a Chevrolet Camaro GS.R for CKS Autosport. Thilenius returned to the No. 74 Compass360 Racing Honda Civic Si. His co-driver would be Jay Lutz. Thilenius qualified third in the Street Tuner class and Lutz was in seventeenth place at the checkered flag.
The Street Tuner podium for the 2011 Gran-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Championship at Daytona. In the center are the winners from APR Motorsport, Ian Baas and Ryan Ellis. Standing on the left side of the rostrum are the runner-ups, Andy Lally and Nic Jonsson. Their result gave Kia their first series podium. Occupying the final position are BimmerWorld Racing’s, Greg Liefooghe and John Capestro-Dubets.

1GSPlumb / LonghiRum Bum Racing / BMW M362
2GSMaxwell / FosterMultimatic Motorsports / Ford Mustang Boss 302 R62
3GSDalla Lana / AuberlenTurner Motorsport / BMW M362
4GSEspenlaub / PutmanFall-Line Motorsports / BMW M362
5GSPlumb / CarterFall-Line Motorsports / BMW M362
6GSWilden / MichaelianBimmerWorld / BMW M362
7GSAtterbury / AschenbachMitchum Motorsports / Chevrolet Camaro GS.R62
8GSCosmo / TetreaultBGB Motorsports / Porsche Cayman62
9GSBoden / KasemetsFall-Line Motorsports / BMW M362
10GSStout / BucknumMitchum Motorsports / Chevrolet Camaro GS.R62
11GSMarsal / HandTurner Motorsport / BMW M362
12GSFinlay / CameronFinlay Motorsports / Ford Mustang Boss 302 R62
13GSSpaude / AquilanteSubaru Road Racing Team / Subaru WRX-STI62
14GSMcCalmont / CurranCKS Autosport / Chevrolet Camaro GS.R62
15GSMiller / StrelzoffBGB Motorsports / Porsche Cayman62
16GSClay / ThomasBimmerWorld / BMW M362
17GSBuffomante / GimpleCapaldi / Ford Mustang GT62
18GSBlackstock / FalguerasRoush Performance / Ford Mustang GT62
19GSEcklin, Jr. / WaddellAutomatic Racing / BMW M361
20GSRivera / MundyCKS Autosport / Chevrolet Camaro GS.R61
21GSAbello / EllisRanger Sports Racing / Porsche 99761
22GSLassally / ConwayAutomatic Racing / BMW M361
23STBaas / EllisAPR Motorsport / Volkswagen GTI61
24STLally / JonssonKinetic Motorsports / Kia Forte Koup61
25STLiefooghe / Capestro-DubetsBimmerWorld / BMW 328i61
26STNovich / TheetgeCompass360 Racing / Honda Civic Si61
27STTallman / KozarovCA Sport / Honda Civic Si61
28STCattaneo / TrinklerRSR Motorsports / Mini Cooper S61
29STFarmer / HartRSR Motorsports / Mini Cooper S61
30STCooper / RampelbergFreedom Autosport / Mazda Speed 361
31STMiller / ArmengolDeMan Motorsport / Porsche Boxster60
32STGoldman / SchultzTrack Manage Racing / Porsche Boxster60
33STTheetge / EversleyCompass360 Racing / Honda Civic Si60
34STWhite / HeumannBimmerWorld / BMW 328i60
35STLedoux / IgdalskyFreedom Autosport / Mazda Speed 360
36STHebert / Vincent89 Racing Team / Honda Civic Si59
37STPicut / LondonNext Generation Motorsports / BMW 330i59
38GSMartin / SeafuseRehagen Racing / Ford Mustang Boss 302 R59
39GSHurley / GibsonAPR Motorsport / Audi S459
40STBell / ZachariasDoran Racing / BMW 128i59
41STLutz / ThileniusCompass360 Racing / Honda Civic Si59
42STFerguson / DeManDeMan Motorsport / Porsche Boxster58
43STGilsinger / EichHART / Honda Civic Si58
44GSMiller / PumpellyThe Racer's Group / Porsche 99758
45STBurrows / HopwoodKinetic Motorsports / Kia Forte Koup57
46STQuinlan / Watkins3D Racing / BMW 330i57
47STCombs / MosingRACE EPIC / Murillo Racing / BMW 328i56
48STHanson / WorkmanAutosport Promotions / BMW 330i56
49STBrown / KentRACE EPIC / Murillo Racing / BMW 328i56
50STMason / PecorariV-Pack Motorsport / BMW 330i55
51STFreeman, Jr. / SchmidtFRESCH / Mercedes C30055
52GSKennedy / CollyerGary Yeomans Ford / Ford Mustang54
53GSToussaint / BeedeMarren Motor Sports / Porsche 99752
54GSEdwards / BellSevenson Motorsports / Chevrolet Camaro GS.R51
55STRiley / RileyRiley Racing / Mazda RX-845
56GSSellers / BufordKinetic Motorsports / BMW M341
57STPintaric / MilarcikPirate Motorsports / Mazda RX-837
58STKleinubing / Hacquardi-Moto / Mazda Speed 337
59GSPanzer / SnyderFrederick Motorsports / Ford Mustang GT32
60STLeroux / CabreraLRT Racing / Acura TSX31
61STMcHaffie / GorriaranFlatout Motorsports / Mazda MX-530
62STRogers / Tesler-MabeCompass360 Racing / Honda Civic Si25
63STMirzayan / SarianRSR Motorsports / Mini Cooper S24
64STMcQuarrie / RondetInsight Racing / BMW 328i21
65STJensen / GerrardInsight Racing / BMW M320
66STLong / WhitisFreedom Autosport / Mazda MX-58
67STGalati / SchmittHART / Honda Civic Si8
68STWeisberg / MittenBerg Racing / Mazda RX-87
69STLeroux / LerouxLRT Racing / Honda Civic Si7
70STStraus / Masessa / SandbergDoran Racing / BMW 128i7
71GSJohnson / RoushRoush Performance / Ford Mustang Boss 302 R2
72GSJames / NastasiBlackforest Motorsports / Dodge Challenger1

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