Five Questions With Scott Maxwell
Thursday, June 23, 2016

Scott Maxwell enters the Continental Tire 150 at Watkins Glen International leading the Grand Sport (GS) standings of the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge. He and co-driver Billy Johnson won the season opener at Daytona in the No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Shelby GT350R-C, then finished second at Sebring and fourth at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. They currently lead CJ Wilson Racing drivers Danny Burkett and Marc Miller by nine points, 95-86.

Maxwell has 11 victories and 30 podium finishes in all-time Continental Tire Challenge competition. He won GS championships in 2002 and 2008. He finished third in the points last season, and fourth in both 2013 and 2014. He was the pole and class winner in the first race for the Daytona Prototypes, driving a Multimatic Motorsports Ford in the 2003 Rolex 24 At Daytona. He also won the LMP 675 class for Multimatic at the 2000 24 Hours of Le Mans, co-driving with fellow Canadians Greg Wilkins and John Graham.

Maxwell was the primary test driver during the early days of the Ford GT program for Ford Chip Ganassi Racing and Multimatic Motorsports – which paid off last weekend with the GTE Pro class victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Away from the track, Maxwell remains involved with motorsports. He owns Minigrid, a motorsports enthusiasts store opened by his father in 1978 located in the Mount Pleasant Village in downtown Toronto. If you’re at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix on July 10, be sure to visit his souvenir trailer located in the paddock.

The most recent Continental Tire Challenge race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was on April 30. How have you been keeping busy over the break?

“We’ve been doing a bit of testing with our Mustang race car, a lot of durability running. Primarily I’ve been working on the Ford GT program, both the road car program – which kicks off this fall – and a lot of simulation work for the Ford GT racing teams leading up to Le Mans.

“My business had a livestream Le Mans 24 Hours watch party with Multimatic, that we hosted at a theater in downtown Toronto, to celebrate Ford’s return and Multimatic’s involvement with the GT.”

What are your thoughts returning to Watkins Glen International?

“We’re always good there. I always like the fast tracks – the old tracks – so Watkins Glen’s got to be right up there as one of my favorites. We should have a stronger car at The Glen than we did at [Mazda Raceway] Laguna Seca, so I can’t wait to get there. We had the pole last year with the new Shelby, but we were thrown a wrench with the wet weather. Billy and I both struggled with fogging and visibility issues after the first few laps. But I know that in the dry, the car is very strong.

“I’ll drive down to that race. It’s only three and a half hours away, and it’s a beautiful drive through the Finger Lakes region. It’s a nice getaway. I’m staying at the Seneca Lodge this year. I’m a big racing historian, and I’m looking forward to that with all the history there.”

How does it feel to be racing close to home at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park only one week after the Glen?

“That’s my home track, Mosport. I know it’s now called Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, but I still call it Mosport.  Like Watkins Glen, it’s fast and flowing, old style, so we have two of my favorite tracks back to back. Because it’s our home track, we’ve probably done more testing there with the Mustangs than anywhere else. We should have a strong setup there, and I would like to make up for last year, which ended up destroying a race car into the wall instead of standing in victory lane.

“The Mosport crowd is very savvy. There’s a lot of history there, and they remember the Can-Am days and the IMSA days from the Eighties. They’re probably the most knowledgeable crowd of any place we go to. They know what they’re looking at, they know what the product is, and they know the history behind it. It’s always fun to go there.”

How is the current season meeting your expectations?

“The first two races were pretty strong for us – obviously winning Daytona and finishing second at Sebring. But Laguna was a struggle. It just didn’t suit anybody’s cars, other than the Porsches, so we were fighting for ‘the best of the rest.’ Billy and I were satisfied with the rest, because it was as good as we were going to get and we got out of there with the points lead intact. But we need to get back on the podium and win one or two races soon to solidify that lead.”

How did it feel at your watch party to see the new Ford GTs finish first and third at Le Mans?

“It was a huge deal for me and everybody involved with the program. I was pretty proud and happy for all of the guys who worked hundreds and hundreds of hours to get there. It was just over a year ago that we shook the car down, and all of a sudden, they’re standing on the top step on the podium at Le Mans. It was mission accomplished. Everyone did their part, and it was a great 50thanniversary of their 1966 domination. … I drove a few thousand miles testing the car, but I don’t know the exact number.”