The 2015 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 two-hours, thirty-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 (GS): 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, BMW M3 and Porsche 911. Vehicles competing in the category produced between 400 - 500 horsepower and were capable of speeds over 175-mph.
  • Street Tuner (ST): 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, Audi S3 and MINI JCW. The cars in this class produce between 220 – 280-horsepower.

Close competitive racing with cars that fans can relate to contributes 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 2015 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season took place at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Thirty-five entries would compete in the two-hour, thirty-minute race around the 2.459-mile ten-turn road course.

The pace lap for round five and twenty-four Street Tuner competitors enter Canadian Tire Motorsport Park’s last corner in anticipation of the Starter’s flag. On the pole, is the Alara Racing Mazda MX-5 shared by Christian Szymczak and qualified by Devin Jones. Sharing the front row with the Alara entry is the No. 81 BMW 328i prepared by BimmerWorld. Andrie Hartanto qualified the BMW and drove the first stint.
The No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports entry was shared by Scott Maxwell and Billy Johnson. Johnson scored the team’s second consecutive pole position when he was fastest in qualifying – Maxwell won the pole at Watkins Glen. Johnson kept the car in contention during the first stint. On lap-48, Maxwell was driving when he was hit by the Mustang of James Vance in turn four - the incident forced the team to retire.
Spencer Pumpelly and Luis Rodriguez, Jr. won the opening round at Daytona International Speedway but since that event, they have had miserable luck finishing well down the running order. That was about to change at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Pumpelly drove the final stint and had a terrific battle with the Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5 of Andrew Carbonell. He prevailed and scored their second victory of the season.
It was not surprising that the second Multimatic Motorsports entry shared the front row with their teammates – after all this is Multimatic’s home track. The No. 158 Ford Shelby GT350R-C was shared by Jade Buford and Austin Cindric. Cindric drove the final stint and was in fifth place after the final restart. Some aggressive passes gave him the lead with thirty-minutes remaining in the contest – Cindric held on for the victory.
The Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5 driven by Andrew Carbonell and Liam Dwyer showed great speed during the practice sessions but in qualifying, they were thirtieth overall and nineteenth in Street Tuner. The pair fought their way to the front of the class and with thirty minutes left in the event, Carbonell was leading. However, he was unable to hold off a challenge from the RSI Porsche and finished second.
The Street Tuner podium for round five at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Standing in the center of the rostrum and winning for the second time in 2015 are Spencer Pumpelly and Luis Rodriguez Jr. To the right of the winners are the second place finishers, Andrew Carbonell and Liam Dwyer. Completing the podium and making their first appearance on the rostrum are, Connor Bloum and Greg Strelzoff.
The car count for the Grand Sport class at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park was disappointing - only eleven entries started the race. Monopolising the front row were the local favorites from Multimatic Motorsports. On the pole is Billy Johnson in the No. 15 Ford Shelby GT350R-C which he would share with Scott Maxwell. Next to Johnson is the second Multimatic entry driven by Jade Buford and Austin Cindric.
Teammates to the class winning Street Tuner Porsche was the No. 19 RS1 entry raced by Connor Bloum and Greg Strelzoff. Bloum and Strelzoff did not appear to be much of a threat to the class front-runners. Their best result to date was a tenth at Watkins Glen and at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park; they qualified eighteenth in their category. It all came together for them in the race and the pair scored a third-place finish.
The Alara Racing prepared Mazda MX-5 shared by Devin Jones and Christian Szymczak topped the Street Tuner timesheets during both of Friday’s practice sessions. In qualifying, Jones captured the class pole and set a new lap record in the process. Problems during the race took them out of contention. By the end of the event, they were running but were nine laps behind the class winners in twenty-first place.
Third quickest after the qualifying session was Hugh Plumb driving the Rum Bum Racing Porsche 911. However, he was over a second slower than the two Ford’s on the front row of the grid. Despite the speed deficit, Plumb and his brother, Matt was able to lead ten-laps during the contest. However, they could not hold off the hard-charging Ford of Austin Cindric and finished second – 4.703-seconds behind the winners.
Anthony Mantella driving the Mantella Autosport Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R caused the weekend’s first practice session to end early when he went straight off at corner third. Apparently, new racing shoes were the cause of the incident. The Camaro was repaired in time for qualifying. Mantella and his teammate, Mark Wilkins were gridded ninth for the start of the race and finished fifth.
Stevenson Motorsports drivers, Robin Liddell and Andrew Davis, scored a ‘hat trick’ with their third consecutive victory at Watkins Glen. At Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, they were looking to keep their streak alive. In the qualifying session, the team was fourth quickest. They ran with the class leaders during the race but had to settle for a third-place finish. However, they were able to maintain the points lead.
Round five’s Grand Sport class podium. The winners, Jade Buford and Austin Cindric, stand on the top step of the podium. Their victory marked a number of firsts – the first win for the new Ford Shelby GT350R-C, the first series victory for Buford and Cindric and Cindric also became the series youngest overall winner. on the left are, Hugh and Matt Plumb. Completing the rostrum are Robin Liddell and Andrew Davis.

1GSJade Buford / Austin CindricFord Shelby GT350R-C85-
2GSMatt Plumb / Hugh PlumbPorsche 91185-
3GSAndrew Davis / Robin LiddellChevrolet Camaro Z/28.R85-
4GSLawson Aschenbach / Matt BellChevrolet Camaro Z/28.R85-
5GSAnthony Mantella / Mark WilkinsChevrolet Camaro Z/28.R85-
6GSMartin Barkey / Kyle MarcelliChevrolet Camaro Z/28.R85-
7GSChris Beaufait / Bob MichaelianFord Mustang Boss 302R85-
8GSBJ Zacharias / Brad JaegerNissan 370Z84-
9STSpencer Pumpelly / Luis Rodriguez Jr.Porsche Cayman84-
10STAndrew Carbonell / Liam DwyerMazda MX-584-
11STConnor Bloum / Greg StrelzoffPorsche Cayman83-
12STTerry Borcheller / Mike LaMarraBMW 128i83-
13STSarah Cattaneo / Owen TrinklerHonda Civic Si83-
14STKevin Boehm / Steve EichHonda Civic Si83-
15STEthan Low / Jason RabePorsche Cayman83-
16STStevan McAleer / Chad McCumbeeMazda MX-583-
17STGreg Liefooghe / Eric ZimmermannPorsche Cayman83-
18STAndrie Hartanto / Tyler CookeBMW 328i83-
19STJeff Mosing / Eric FossPorsche Cayman83-
20STGary Browne / Dillon MurcottPorsche Cayman83-
21STJames Clay / Jason BriedisBMW 328i83-
22STMatthew Dicken / Corey LewisPorsche Cayman83-
23STJustin Piscitell / Tim ProbertBMW 328i83-
24STZach Meyer / Dan ClarkeMINI JCW83-
25STPaul Holton / Kyle GimpleAudi S383-
26STTom Kwok / Gary KwokPorsche Cayman82-
27STTed Giovanis / David MurryBMW 328i81-
28STJim McGuire / Nico RondetAudi S381-
29STChristian Szymczak / Devin JonesMazda MX-575-
30GSNick McMillen / Steven DohertyNissan 370Z67Not Running
31STTristan Nunez / Jonathan BomaritoMazda MX-554Not Running
32STDan Rogers / Seth ThomasPorsche Cayman53-
33GSScott Maxwell / Billy JohnsonFord Shelby GT350R-C47Not Running
34GSTrent Hindman / Ashley FreibergBMW M321Not Running
35STChad Gilsinger / Ryan EversleyHonda Civic Si20Not Running

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