The 2018 edition of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge consisted of ten events (Daytona, Sebring, Mid-Ohio, Watkins Glen, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP), Lime Rock, Road America, Virginia International Raceway, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca and Road Atlanta) for production-based cars. Most races were two-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 three groups – Grand Sport, Touring Car 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. The quickest of the three groups, this class includes cars such as the Ford Mustang GT4, BMW M4 GT4, Mercedes-AMG, Audi R8 and Porsche Cayman GT4 MR. Vehicles competing in this group produce between 400 - 500 horsepower and are capable of speeds over 175-mph.

  • Touring Car (TCR): TCR is a global touring car category which was added to the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series in 2018. Cars competing in this category include the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR and Audi RS3 LMS TCR. They will produce between 300 – 350-horsepower.

  • 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 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 2018 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 the Prototype Challenge championship. Thirty-two entries would compete in the two-hour race around the 2.459-mile ten-turn road course.

The first lap of round five of the 2018 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Leading the field of thirty-two cars into corner one is the second fastest qualifier, Chad McCumbee. Following McCumbee is the Mercedes-AMG GT4 of the pole-sitter, Alexandre Premat. Behind Premat are the Mustang of Scott Maxwell and Tyler McQuarrie in an Audi R8.
A miscommunication allowed Kyle Marcelli and Nate Stacy to score their third victory of the season. Driving the Roush Performance / KohR Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4, Stacy qualified fifth quickest. Marcelli drove the final stint but did not hear the message to pit for fuel during the last caution. He continued while others pitted and won the race but ran out of fuel on the cool-down lap.
Last weekend at Watkins Glen it appeared that Martin Barky and Brett Sandberg were headed for a win but an incident on lap-37 took the pair out of contention. At Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, the pair had a better weekend. The duo was gridded ninth in the Grand Sport class. In the race, Barky and Sandberg moved up the order and ran with the leaders. They were rewarded with their best finish of the season – second.
Issues at Watkins Glen International relegated the BimmerWorld Racing BMW 328i of Nick Galante and Devin Jones to the runner-up spot in Street Tuner. A week later at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, the team was back on form. In qualifying, Jones topped the time sheets and took the class pole by 1.853-seconds. The pair was second when the class-leading Mini stopped on course – giving them the victory.
The Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Grand Sport podium at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. On the left are second place finishers Brett Sandberg and Martin Barky and at the right are Damien Faulkner and Russell Ward. In the middle are the winners, Kyle Marcelli and Nate Stacy. Stacy and Marcelli had three victories in five starts and led the title chase by six points.
The Compass Racing duo of Britt Casey, Jr. and Tom Long scored back to back TCR victories. The previous weekend at Watkins Glen International the pair earned their second win of the season driving the No. 77 Audi RS3 LMS. At Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Casey put the Audi on the class pole. When their teammates, Kuno Wittmer and Rodrigo Sales, encountered problems it was ‘clear sailing’ for Casey and Long.
It was a hard-fought battle for drivers of the No. 33 Winward Racing / HTP Motorsport Mercedes AMG GT4. Damien Faulkner and Russell Ward started the event in the seventh grid position. In the closing laps, Faulkner passed and held-off the Mustang of Trent Hindman for the final spot on the Grand Sport podium. This was their best result to date.
Last weekend at Watkins Glen International Stephen Simpson and Michael Johnson finished third. This was the JDC-Miller Motorsports best result since entering the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series. Johnson qualified the team’s Audi RS3 LMS and was second quickest. During the race, he and his teammate, Simpson turned in a solid performance and topped the Watkins Glen result with a second in class.
The TCR podium. In the center are the class winners from the Compass Racing – Tom Long and Britt Casey, Jr. This was the third victory of the season for the class point’s leaders. To their right are the second place finishers from JDC-Miller Motorsports – Michael Johnson and Stephen Simpson. Rounding out the podium are Pierre Kleinubing and Roy Block also part of the Compass Racing effort.
The MINI JCW Team entered three MINIs at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The No. 37 entry driven by Derek Jones and Nate Norenberg was the slowest of the three in qualifying. However, in the two-hour race, Jones and Norenberg turned in the team’s best performance. They inherited a runner-up finish in the Street Tuner category after their teammate’s encountered problems.
Last weekend at Watkins Glen International, Pierre Kleinubing scored his first TCR pole driving the Compass Racing Audi RS3 LMS. Unfortunately, contact on the first lap ended any chances for a victory. At Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Kleinubing and his teammate, Roy Block started fifth in class. The pair was unable to maintain the pace of the TCR leaders but were able to grab the final spot on the podium.
Bodymotion Racing drivers, Jason Rabe and Max Faulkner repeated their performance from a week earlier at Watkins Glen International. Starting fifth in the Street Tuner category and ‘shotgun on the field’ the No. 21 Porsche Cayman drivers turned in a solid performance to grab the last spot on the podium. This was the pair’s fourth podium of the season and they left Canadian Tire Motorsport Park third in the standings.
The 2018 Street Tuner podium at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. In the center are the class winning drivers from BimmerWorld Racing, Nick Galante and Devin Jones. Taking the runner-up spot and on the right side of the podium are Nate Norenberg and Derek Jones. For the second weekend in a row , final position on the rostrum belonged to Jason Rabe and Max Faulkner.

1GSN. Stacy / K. MarcelliFord Mustang GT480-
2GSM. Barkey / B. SandbergFord Mustang GT480-
3GSR. Ward / D. FaulknerMercedes-AMG80-
4GSA. Brynjolfsson / T. HindmanFord Mustang GT480-
5GSC. McCumbee / P. GallagherFord Mustang GT480-
6GST. McQuarrie / J. WestphalAudi R880-
7GSH. Plumb / O. TrinklerMercedes-AMG80-
8GSJ. Clay / T. CookeBMW M4 GT480-
9GSA. Balogh / G. LiefoogheMercedes-AMG80-
10GSJ. Mossing / E. FossMercedes-AMG80-
11GSP. Holton / M. PlumbMcLaren GT480-
12GST. Probert / J. PiscitellMercedes-AMG79-
13GSJ. Robillard / S. McAleerPorsche Cayman GT4 MR79-
14GSM. Ramsey / A. PrematMercedes-AMG79-
15GSJ. Lazare / C. FergusMcLaren GT478-
16TCRB. Casey Jr / T. LongAudi RS3 LMS TCR78-
17TCRM. Johnson / S. SimpsonAudi RS3 LMS TCR78-
18TCRP. Kleinubing / R. BlockAudi RS3 LMS TCR78-
19GST. Giovanis / G. CosmoMercedes-AMG78-
20GSD. Machavern / S. PumpellyPorsche Cayman GT4 MR77-
21TCRL. Carpentier / K. O'RourkeAudi RS3 LMS TCR77-
22GSD. Kok / P. HoltrustMercedes-AMG75-
23STN. Galante / D. JonesBMW 328i75-
24STD. Jones / N. NorenbergMINI JCW75-
25STM. Faulkner / J. RabePorsche Cayman74-
26STM. Pombo / C. MullanMINI JCW69-
27GSS. Maxwell / C. BriscoeFord Mustang GT465-
28TCRR. Sales / K. WittmerAudi RS3 LMS TCR60-
29STM. Pombo / M. LaMarraMINI JCW40-
-GST. Grahovec / J. ClunieBMW M4 GT40Did Not Start
-GSB. Ward / I. DontjeMercedes-AMG0Did Not Start
-GSJ. Roush Jr / J. AtterburyFord Mustang GT40Did Not Start

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