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, 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 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 opening round of the 2018 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge took place at Daytona International Speedway as a support event for the Rolex 24. Forty-one entries would compete for four hours around the 12-turn, 3.56-mile track which utilized an infield road course and almost the entire tri-oval.

Forty-one entries prepare to receive the Starter’s flag for round one of the 2018 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series. A majority of the field was made up of the quicker Grand Sport cars (twenty-eight of the forty-one starters). Leading the way is the pole-sitter, Spencer Pumpelly driving the RS1 Porsche Cayman GT4 MR. Sharing the front row with Pumpelly is the No. 28 BMW M4 shared by James Clay and Tyler Cooke.
2017 Grand Sport champion, Dillon Machavern was joined by Spencer Pumpelly in the RS1 prepared Porsche Cayman GT4 MR. The duo was at the top of time charts during practice and when it counted, Pumpelly put the Porsche on the pole. With less the thirty-minutes remaining in the event the team was third but Machavern passed the Mercedes of Greg Liefooghe and Aaron Povoledo for the victory.
Winning the series’ first Touring Car category race was Tom Long and Britt Casey, Jr. Long and Casey drove one of three Audi RS3 LMS entered by Compass 360 Racing and battled with their teammates, Kuno Wittmer and Rodrigo Sales. The Compass team gained valuable knowledge campaigning this Audi model in the 2017 Pirelli World Challenge series. In fact, they won the Touring Car championship with Paul Holton.
Devin Jones and 2016 Street Tuner champion, Nick Galante drove the No. 81 BMW 328i. The pair was the second quickest Street Tuner entry in the opening practice but topped the timesheets in the next two sessions. Jones qualified the car and captured the Motul Pole Award for being the quickest driver in his class. The duo dominated the race - Jones took his first series victory and Galante earned his sixth.
Finishing just 7.101-seconds behind the Grand Sports class winner was the No. 82 BMW M4 GT4. Sharing the BMW were Tyler Cooke and James Clay. The pair showed good speed during the practice sessions but could only manage the nineteenth fastest time in qualifying. During the race, they made good progress and as the contest came to an end, Cooke passed the series veteran, Scott Maxwell for the runner-up spot.
Multimatic Motorsports entered three Ford Mustang GT4s. Sharing the No. 22 Mustang were NASCAR competitors, Chase Briscoe and Austin Cindric. Both drivers raced in the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck series. On lap-55, the car was involved in an incident with Automatic Racing Aston Martin and Winward Racing Mercedes which damaged the car. The team made repairs but they were not running at the finish.
During Touring Car qualifying, Canadian Kuno Wittmer recorded the fastest lap. Sharing the Compass 360 Racing Audi RS3 LMS with Wittmer was Rodrigo Sales a BMW competitor in the Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car category. The pair battled with their Compass 360 teammates, Tom Long and Britt Casey, Jr. in the No. 77 Audi. At the checkered flag, the duo finished twentieth overall and second in class.
Finishing second in the Street Tuner category were Max Faulkner and Jason Rabe. The pair drove the No. 21 Bodymotion Racing prepared Porsche Cayman. They were gridded forty-first overall and sixth in class for the start of the race. A consistent performance and well-timed pit-stops allowed them to finish twenty-fifth overall and take the runner-up position in their category.
Series veteran, Scott Maxwell, teamed up with two young NASCAR drivers – Cole Custer and Ty Majeski both of whom race in the Xfinity Series. They shared the No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 and started ninth overall and in the Grand Sport category. Maxwell drove the last stint and was in second place when he was passed by the BMW of Tyler Cooke. The trio captured the final spot on the podium.
Classic BMW and the Vess Energy Group entered the No. 72 BMW M4 GT4. Sharing the driving duties were Mike Vess, Jason Hart and 2016 Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car champion, Toby Grahovec. Problems prevented the team from participating in the qualifying session. As a result, they started second last in the Grand Sport class. Some solid driving and an excellent race strategy allowed the trio to finish fourth.
Murillo Racing brought three cars to Daytona International Speedway for the four hour BMW Endurance Challenge. A Mercedes-AMG was entered in the Grand Sport category, in TCR there was an Audi RS3 LMS and a Porsche Cayman was driven by Street Tuner competitors, Jason Piscitell, Brent Mosing and Tim Probert. They started and finished third in class. Piscitell also finished third in the TCR category.
Another Pirelli World Challenge series champion participating in the BMW Endurance Challenge was Matthew Fassnacht. Fassnacht who won the 2017 TCA title was paired with Jason Piscitell. They drove an Audi RS3 LMS prepared by Murillo Racing (2017 Street Tuner champions). Piscitell and Fassnacht started fifth in the Touring Car class but after four hours of racing grabbed the last position on the podium.

1GSD. Machavern / S. PumpellyPorsche Cayman GT4 MR106-
2GSJ. Clay / T. CookeBMW M4 GT4106-
3GSS. Maxwell / C. Custer / T. MajeskiFord Mustang GT4106-
4GST. Grahovec / M. Vess / J. HartBMW M4 GT4106-
5GSB. Ward / I. DontjeMercedes-AMG106-
6GSH. Plumb / O. TrinklerMercedes-AMG106-
7GSJ. Mossing / E. FossMercedes-AMG106-
8GSA. Brynjolfsson / T. HindmanFord Mustang GT4106-
9GST. Giovanis / G. Cosmo / O. TrinklerMercedes-AMG106-
10GSJ. Roush Jr / J. Atterbury / J. BufordFord Mustang GT4106-
11GSM. Barkey / B. SandbergFord Mustang GT4106-
12GSJ. Robillard / S. McAleerPorsche Cayman GT4 MR106-
13GSD. Askew / A. PovoledoMercedes-AMG106-
14GSP. Holton / M. PlumbMcLaren GT4106-
15GSA. Balogh / G. LiefoogheMercedes-AMG106-
16GSM. Ramsey / A. PrematMercedes-AMG105-
17GSJ. Cox / D. Murry / D. MurryPorsche Cayman GT4 MR105-
18GSJ. Lazare / C. FergusMcLaren GT4105-
19TCRB. Casey Jr / T. LongAudi RS3 LMS TCR105-
20TCRR. Sales / K. WittmerAudi RS3 LMS TCR105-
21TCRM. Fassnacht / J.PiscitellAudi RS3 LMS TCR105-
22TCRL. Carpentier / K. O'RourkeAudi RS3 LMS TCR104-
23GSA. Freiberg / G. RdestAudi R8103-
24STN. Galante / D. JonesBMW 328i103-
25STM. Faulkner / J. RabePorsche Cayman102-
26STT. Probert / B. Mosing / J. PiscitellPorsche Cayman101-
27GSD. Jorgensen / C. Lawrence / R. Parfitt Jr.Audi R899-
28TCRT. Rumburg / L. Rumburg / J. MillerVolkswagen Golf GTI TCR97-
29STD. Jones / N. NorenbergMINI JCW94-
30GSA. Cindric / C. BriscoeFord Mustang GT491-
31STM. Pombo / M. LaMarraMINI JCW91-
32GSR. Ecklin Jr. / R. Abdolvahabi / B. KiddAston Martin Vantage90-
33GSM. Siegal / T. McQuarrie / J. WestphalAudi R878-
34TCRP. Kleinubing / R. BlockAudi RS3 LMS TCR73-
35STM. Pombo / T. Stone / J. SalinskyMINI JCW73-
36GSN. Stacy / K. MarcelliFord Mustang GT468-
37TCRD. Istook / JT CoupalAudi RS3 LMS TCR63-
38GSG. Kurtz / J. Sofronas / A. DavisAudi R855-
39GSS. Phillips / A. Straus / A. CarterAston Martin Vantage55Accident
40GSR. Ward / D. FaulknerMercedes-AMG55Accident
41GSC. McCumbee / P. GallagherFord Mustang GT415Mechanical
42GSC. Lyons / K. WilsonMercedes-AMG0Did Not Start
43GSS. Pumpelly / D. MoradPorsche Cayman GT4 MR0Did Not Start

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