The 2017 edition of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge consisted of ten events (Daytona, Sebring, Circuit of the Americas, Watkins Glen, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP), Lime Rock, Road America, Virginia International Raceway, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Road Atlanta) for showroom stock cars. Most races were 2-hours 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 are divided into one of two groups – Grand Sport or Street Tuner:

  • Grand Sport (GS): This category underwent some changes in 2017. The new rules accepted cars prepared to the SRO (Stephane Ratel Organisation) GT4 technical requirements while including vehicles that competed in the 2016 championship. The quicker of the two groups, this class includes cars such as the Ford Mustang GT4, Aston Martin Vantage, Nissan 370Z and Porsche Cayman GT4. Vehicles competing in this group produce between 400 - 500 horsepower and are capable of speeds over 175-mph.

  • Street Tuner (ST): This class is for smaller sedans and sports cars with four or six-cylinder engines. Vehicles racing in this group include the BMW 328i, Porsche Cayman, Mazda MX-5, Nissan Altima, Audi S3 and MINI JCW. The cars in Street Tuner 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 2017 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season took place at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. It was a support event to the WeatherTech championship and shared the weekend with the SCCA Formula 4 and IMSA Mazda Prototype Challenge series. Thirty-entries would compete in the 2-hour race around the 2.459-mile ten-turn road course.

The start of round five of the 2017 Continental SportsCar Challenge. Eleven Grand Sport and eighteen Street Tuner entries funnel into Canadian Tire Motorsport Park’s corner one. Leading the way is the pole-sitter, Chris Green in the Motorsport in Action McLaren 570S GT4. Immediately behind Green is the second fastest qualifier in another McLaren, Paul Holton. Lining up behind Holton is the RS1 Porsche Cayman GT4 driven by, Dylan Murcott.
Chris Green driving the No. 69 McLaren 570S GT4 recorded the fastest time in qualifying. This was Green’s first pole-position in the Grand Sport class. Sharing the McLaren with him was, Jesse Lazare. Green took the early lead in the race but as the event came to a conclusion his co-driver, Lazare lost second place due to fuel issues. There were more problems for the team – the car was underweight and they were moved to last in class.
The Murillo Racing Porsche Cayman driven by Eric Foss and Jeff Mosing was gaining momentum in the title chase. The pair won at Circuit of the Americas and finished third at Watkins Glen which gave them the Street Tuner points lead. Mosing handled the qualifying at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and was third quickest. With five minutes to go in the event, Foss made contact with the race leader, James Vance and took first place and the victory.
The No. 84 BimmerWorld BMW 328i driven by Tyler Cooke was the second fastest in the Street Tuner qualifying session. With less than thirty minutes left in the contest, Cooke’s teammate, James Clay was in a battle with Stephen Simpson and Christian Szymczak to maintain fourth place. On lap-63, Szymczak bumped Clay in corner ten which allowed Simpson to grab fourth. The BimmerWorld would hold the position and finish fifth in class.
Qualifying the No. 76 McLaren 570S GT4 for C360R was Paul Holton. Holton missed scoring his third consecutive pole by 0.568-seconds. He and Matt Plumb would share the front row with the Motorsport in Action McLaren. During the race, the pair were never out of the top-three – until lap-70 when they were passed by the RS1 Porsche Cayman GT4. At the checkered flag, they were fourth but a post-race decision moved them to third.
The Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Grand Sport podium at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. On the left are second place finishers, Dylan Murcott and Dillon Machavern. To the right are Chris Green and Jesse Lazare who were later penalized and moved to last in class. Between these two pairs are the winners, Matt Bell and Robin Liddell. They scored the first win for the new Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R.
Racing the No. 37 JCW Team MINI were Mike LaMarra and local driver, James Vance. Vance drove the final stint and led the Street Tuner class but was under tremendous pressure from Eric Foss in a Porsche and the Nissan of Owen Trinkler. At corner five with less than five-minutes in the race, Foss hit Vance which dropped him to third. At the checkered flag, LaMarra and Vance took the final position on the Street Tuner podium.
The Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R was qualified by Matt Bell who recorded the fifth fastest time. Bell and his co-driver, Robin Liddell were in the class lead by lap-42 of the seventy-nine-lap contest. Liddell was able to hold off a hard charging, Jesse Lazare for the victory. After only three races, the new Camaro got its first win. The first place finish also ended a winless streak for the team which started after COTA in 2015.
The third fastest Grand Sport entry was the RS1 Porsche Cayman GT4 qualified by Dylan Murcott. Murcott’s co-driver was Dillon Machavern. The team was in third on the last lap when the Motorsport in Action McLaren 570S GT4 driven, Jesse Lazare experienced a fuel issue. The RS1 Porsche took the runner-up spot on the final circuit. To date, this was the best result for Murcott and Machavern.
The Street Tuner pole position went to Derek Jones driving the JCW Team MINI. Sharing the driving duties with Jones was Mat Pombo. Jones and Pombo had class wins at the season opener in Daytona and the previous round at Watkins Glen. They entered round five, second in the driver’s standing. During the race, they slipped down the order and finished tenth. Despite this poor result, the pair maintained their place in the title chase.
Taking the runner-up position on the Street Tuner podium were Sarah Cattaneo and Owen Trinkler. Cattaneo qualified the CRG-I Do Borrow Nissan Altima in the seventh grid position. Trinkler drove the final stint and trailed race leaders James Vance and Eric Foss. When Foss hit first place, Vance at Moss corner in the closing minutes of the event, Trinkler was able to move into second.
The Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Street Tuner podium at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. On the left are second place finishers Sarah Cattaneo and Owen Trinkler and to the right are James Vance and Mike LaMarra. In the center, earning their second win of the season are Murillo Team drivers, Eric Foss and Jeff Mosing. Foss and Mosing took the points lead at Watkins Glen and padded it a Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

1GSM. Bell / R. LiddellChevrolet Camaro GT4.R79-
2GSD. Machavern / D. MurcottPorsche Cayman GT4 MR79-
3GSP. Holton / M. PlumbMcLaren GT479-
4GSM. Miller / T. BechtolsheimerPorsche Cayman GT479-
5GSC. Cassels / T. HindmanPorsche Cayman GT478-
6GSR. Ward / D. FaulknerPorsche Cayman GT478-
7GSC. Lawrence / C. QuintonPorsche Cayman GT476-
8STJ. Mosing / E. FossPorsche Cayman75-
9STS. Cattaneo / O. TrinklerNissan Altima75-
10STM. LaMarra / J. VanceMINI JCW75-
11STM. Johnson / S. SimpsonBMW 228i75-
12STJ. Clay / T. CookeBMW 328i75-
13STB. Casey Jr. / M. DrennanMazda MX-575-
14STC. Szymczak / C. StonePorsche Cayman75-
15STA. Straus / C. BloumPorsche Cayman74-
16STD. Jones / D. KemperPorsche Cayman74-
17STD. Jones / M. PomboMINI JCW74-
18GSA. Brynjolfsson / C. HallFord Mustang74-
19STS. Pumpelly / N. GalantePorsche Cayman74-
20STA. Carbonell / L. DwyerMazda MX-574-
21STR. Block / P. KleinubingAudi S374-
22STB. Mosing / T. ProbertPorsche Cayman74-
23STA. Isman / C. O'KeefeMINI JCW73-
24STD. Askew / A. PovoledoPorsche Cayman66-
25GSM. Keegan / N. RondetMcLaren GT461Did Not Finish
26STC. McCumbee / S. McAleerMazda MX-555Did Not Finish
27STJ. Salinsky / N. NorenbergMINI JCW30Accident
28GSS. Maxwell / J. Roush Jr.Ford Mustang19Vibration
29GSJ. Lazare / C. GreenMcLaren GT479Penalized

Copyright Notice:
All content (photographs and text) appearing on this website are the exclusive property of © and are protected under International copyright laws. The subject matter on this website may not be reproduced, copied, stored or manipulated.

© Copyright 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

Return to home page.