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 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 the 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 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 season-opening Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race took place at Daytona International Speedway. Thirty-six starters would race around the 12-turn 3.56-mile track for two-hours, thirty-minutes in the BMW Performance 200.

A strong field of twenty-eight Street Tuner competitors prepares to receive the Starter’s green flag. On the class pole is Elliott Skeer in the Rebel Rock Racing Porsche Cayman. Sharing the front row with Skeer is the MINI JCW driven by Mark Pombo. Lining up behind Skeer and Pombo are third place starter, Jim McGuire in the Compass 360 Racing Audi S3 and the HART Honda Civic Si of Chad Gilsinger.
The Multimatic Motorsports team which started on the pole in 2015 qualified third this year. Co-driving the Ford Shelby GT350R-C was last year’s line-up, Billy Johnson and Scott Maxwell. Maxwell kept the Ford in contention during the opening stint. Johnson took over the driving and was in second place when he passed the race leading Rum Bum Porsche. He maintained first position to the checkered flag.
2015 IMSA GT3 Cup Champion, Elliott Skeer was the quickest Street Tuner competitor in the first two practice sessions. Skeer would race the Rebel Rock prepared Porsche Cayman with Robin Liddell – last year’s Grand Sport champion. Skeer performed the qualifying duties and put the car on the pole. Liddell was third as the event came to an end but he was passed for position by the hard-charging, Jorge Leroux.
Another Street Tuner entry showing speed during practice was the No. 56 Porsche Cayman driven by Eric Foss. Foss and his driving partner, Jeff Mosing started fifth in class. Mosing drove first and battled for the lead with the BMW of James Clay and the pole-sitter, Elliott Skeer. Foss drove the second stint and was first across the finish line – this was the team’s second win at Daytona in three years.
The second row of the starting grid was occupied by Fords. The No. 76 Compass 360 Racing Ford Shelby GT350R-C was shared by Pierre Kleinubing and Paul Holton. During the race, the pair stayed with the leaders. On the final restart, the Rum Bum Racing Porsche encountered a mechanical issue and Kleinubing grabbed second place to take the runner-up position. The results gave Ford a one-two finish.
The Plumb brothers driving the No. 13 Porsche 911 were near the top of the time charts every session. After practice was completed on Thursday, they were second quickest but in qualifying Hugh set a time that put the Porsche on the pole. Hugh started the race and was replaced by Matt who led until; he was passed by the Multimatic Ford. On the last restart, the fuel pump developed an issue causing them to finish fifth.
Last year’s Street Tuner winner, Spencer Pumpelly returned to RS1 sharing the team’s Porsche Cayman with Nick Galante. At the conclusion of three practice sessions, Pumpelly was second quickest. The team fell off the pace in qualifying and were fourteenth fastest in their group. During the race, the pair made good progress and at the checkered flag, they captured the runner-up position.
The Grand Sport starting grid dropped from eleven to eight when three entries withdrew before the event. In contrast, last year twenty-two Grand Sport teams started the BMW Performance 200. On the front row is the pole-winning Rum Bum Racing Porsche 911 and the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport of CJ Wilson Racing. Row two is occupied by the Multimatic and Compass 360 Ford Shelby GT350R-Cs.
Brothers Juan Carlos and Jorge Leroux shared the No. 4 Honda Civic Si. The pair missed the final practice session and in qualifying, they were only twenty-sixth fastest in a field of twenty-seven Street Tuner entries. The brothers carved their way through the field and much to the surprise of the fellow competitors they grabbed the final position on the podium. Their engine was impounded and found to be legal.
Topping the timesheets during the wet practice sessions was the CJ Wilson Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport driven by Daniel Burkett. In qualifying, Burkett was outpaced by Rum Bum Racing’s, Hugh Plumb, he and his co-driver, Marc Miller, would start second. As the race came to a conclusion, the pair benefited from an issue with the Rum Bum Porsche and captured the final spot on the Grand Sport podium.

1GSScott Maxwell / Billy JohnsonFord Shelby GT350R-C68-
2GSPaul Holton / Pierre KleinubingFord Shelby GT350R-C68-
3GSDaniel Burkett / Marc MillerPorsche Cayman GT468-
4GSRob Ecklin Jr. / Al CarterAston Martin Vantage67-
5GSMatt Plumb / Hugh PlumbPorsche 99767-
6GSBob Doyle / Jeroen BleekemolenPorsche Cayman GT467-
7GSMichael Lira / Cameron MaugeriFord Mustang Boss 302R66-
8STJeff Mosing / Eric FossPorsche Cayman66-
9STNick Galante / Spencer PumpellyPorsche Cayman66-
10STJuan Carlos Leroux / Jorge LerouxHonda Civic Si66-
11STElliott Skeer / Robin LiddellPorsche Cayman66-
12STGreg Liefooghe / Ari BaloghPorsche Cayman66-
13STMatthew Dicken / Corey LewisPorsche Cayman66-
14STSarah Cattaneo / Owen TrinklerNissan Altima66-
15STChad Gilsinger / Michael ValianteHonda Civic Si66-
16GS Chris Beaufait / Paddy McClughanFord Mustang Boss 302R65-
17STJustin Piscitell / Christian SzymczakMazda MX-565-
18STDan Rogers / Seth ThomasPorsche Cayman65-
19STGreg Strelzoff / Connor BloumPorsche Cayman65-
20STKris Wright / Andy LeePorsche Cayman65-
21STDerek Jones / Matt PomboMINI JCW64No Running
22STDanny Bender / Britt Casey Jr.Mazda MX-564-
23STBrent Mosing / Tim Probert / Justin PiscitellBMW 328i64-
24STRamin Abdolvahabi / James VanceMINI JCW64-
25STChad McCumbee / Stevan McAleerMazda MX-563-
26STAJ Riley / Jameson RileyMazda MX-563-
27STJerry Kaufman / Kyle TilleyBMW 328i61-
28STRemo Ruscitti / Aaron SongPorsche Cayman61-
29STEthan Low / Mark PomboMINI JCW60-
30STJason Rabe / Devin JonesPorsche Cayman60-
14STAndrew Carbonell / Liam DwyerMazda MX-559-
21STJim McGuire / Nico RondetAudi S357Not Running
11STKevin Boehm / Steve EichHonda Civic Si55Not Running
15STJames Clay / Tyler CookeBMW 328i49Not Running
15STCobb / RowenMercedes-Benz C-30040Not Running
27STJim Jonsin / Michael MathePorsche Cayman24Not Running
29STRoy Block / Kyle GimpleAudi S30Did Not Start

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