Ford Shelby Scores Fourth GS Triumph In Dramatic Fashion, Maxwell, Johnson Extend Points Lead With Road America Victory
Saturday, August 6, 2016

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (Aug. 6, 2016) – Watching an upset-seeking Aston Martin take the white flag on pit road, Billy Johnson took the lead on the final lap Saturday at Road America and went on to join Scott Maxwell in scoring their third consecutive IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge victory—and fourth of the season.

The victory for the No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Shelby GT350R-C unofficially extended the team’s lead in the Grand Sport (GS) point standings to 23 points – 228-205 – over CJ Wilson Racing’s Danny Burkett and Marc Miller with only three races remaining. Miller was running third but finished sixth after running low on fuel on the final lap.

“I was doing what I was told – to go as fast as I can – but I was getting a little nervous when I saw cars running out of fuel and pitting earlier than us,” said Johnson, who pitted for a splash for fuel with 12 minutes remaining. “But they had the strategy down, and kudos to the Multimatic team for great strategy, putting us in the position to win. We always race to win – we just don’t ride around. We would have been happy to finish second, but it’s great to get the win, because Scott and I had never won here before.”

After seeing four full-course cautions in the opening one hour, 18 minutes, the remainder of the race ran under the green. Charles Espenlaub attempted to stretch the fuel in the No. 99 Automatic Racing Invisible Glass Aston Martin Vantage, started by Charles Putman, to capture the win. However, Espenlaub slowed dramatically in the waning minutes, finally pitting with one lap remaining for a splash of fuel, finishing forth.

Jeroen Bleekemolen, driving the No. 21 Muehlner Motorsports America Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport started by Peter Ludwig, held off Guy Cosmo in the No. 64 TGM Motorsports Clubsport started by Ted Giovanis by just 0.079 seconds – although 13.596 seconds behind Maxwell. Cosmo, making his first start of the season, led for 15 laps early in the race but was forced to pit under the green for his final stop.

NOTEBOOK

  • Two GS contenders saw their race end on the second lap. Trent Hindman had slight contact with Paul Holton while battling for second entering Canada Corner. Holton, driving the No. 76 C360R Ford Shelby GT350R-C, went off to the right, into the path of the No. 35 CJ Wilson Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport of Till Bechtolsheimer. Both drivers were uninjured.  Drake Kemper also spun to avoid the incident, continuing with minor damage to the No. 34 Alara Racing Mazda MX-5.
  • Bodymotion Racing elected to change drivers twice in the No. 12 Cayman Clubsport. Hindman began the race at the back of the GS grid when he started in place of qualifying driver Cameron Cassels. Hindman quickly moved into contention and led six laps before turning the car over to Cassels during the second caution. After Cassels drove his required 45 minutes, Hindman got back in under the green with under an hour remaining, and went on to finish fifth. The pair won three races this season, joining the Multimatic drivers as the lone GS winners in 2016.

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