Ford Gets 50th Continental Tire Challenge Series Win at Sebring with Buford, Maxwell
Friday, March 17, 2017

The question caught Scott Maxwell, driver of the No. 60 KohR Ford Mustang in the Grand Sport class of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.

 

So, Scott, how many laps do you figure you have around a racetrack in Mustangs?

 

Maxwell thought for a moment. “Thousands. I have no idea, but it has to be way into the thousands.”

 

No doubt.

 

Back about 1993, Maxwell became the go-to guy for Ford, called into service every time the company was working on Mustang performance models. He’s still the go-to guy, but most recently it wasn’t for the Mustang, but for the new Ford GT. Maxwell, working with Multimatic Motorsports in Canada, was among the first to drive that car, and he’s one of the reasons why the racing version of the Ford GT was so fast out of the box.

 

So what? So if you are in a race and a Ford Mustang is out front, there’s a good chance Scott Maxwell is either driving or helped develop the car. On Friday, he was the driver – his No. 60 KohR Mustang, which he shares with Jade Buford, won the Visit Sebring 120 by a healthy 2.58 seconds over the No. 69 Pfaff McLaren GT4 driven by Chris Green and Jesse Lazare. Third was the No. 77 C360R McLaren GT4 of Mathew Keegan and Nico Rondet.

 

Fourth was the No. 35 Porsche GT4 driven by Damien Faulkner and Russell Ward, and fielded by CJ Wilson Racing, owned by the former major league baseball player. It was the highest-finishing Porsche Cayman GT4, after that model took the top four spaces at the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway in January.

 

Trent Hindman and Cameron Cassels, who won the season-opener at Daytona in the No. 12 Bodymotion Porsche Cayman GT4, finished a disappointing 25th overall and 11th in class at Sebring.

 

At the next Continental Tire Challenge race, scheduled for May 13 at Circuit of The Americas in Texas, the Grand Sport class is expected to introduce the new, just-approved Chevrolet Camaro GT4 to the series.

 

Maxwell is ready. “Chevrolet joining the series is going to be great,” Maxwell said. “They’ll be strong, but we have a car we can challenge them with.”

 

While Spencer Pumpelly may not have quite as many laps around a racetrack as Scott Maxwell, he has had his share, and no one is surprised he drove the No. 17 RS1 Porsche Cayman to victory in the Street Tuner class in a nail-biting finish.

 

A caution bunched the field with 15 minutes to go, leaving Pumpelly in third, behind the leading No. 56 Murillo Racing/Mosing Motorcars Cayman of Eric Foss, followed closely by Owen Trinkler in the No. 44 CRG/I Do Borrow Nissan Altima. With only a few minutes to go in the two-hour race, Trinkler and Foss drove into a corner side-by-side, with Foss getting the worst of it, spinning out of the lead. Trinkler was also off-line for the corner, allowing the veteran Pumpelly to dive past both cars.

 

Trinkler, who shares the Altima with Sarah Cattaneo, dogged Pumpelly all the way home. “Some races you win by a half a lap, and just drive the car home – this race was not one of them. I had to work right up until the last corner.”

 

Had Trinkler and Foss not made contact, Pumpelly said he isn’t sure he could have gotten by. But once he was out front, he never gave Trinkler an opening.

 

So Trinkler and Cattaneo, who started the race first in ST, finished second, while Foss rallied back to third in the Porsche he shares with Jeff Mosing. Fourth was Mat Pombo and Derek Jones in the No. 73 JCW Mini Cooper that won in the ST class in the Daytona season opener. 

 

The Visit Sebring 120 will air on FS1 on Sunday, March 26 at 10:30 a.m. ET. As mentioned, next up for the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge is a two-hour race on the 3.4-mile Circuit of The Americas road course on Saturday, May 6 in Austin, Texas.

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