In a race that saw more than 15 lead changes it was the pole sitting #28 RS1 Porsche Cayman GT4 that rose to the top when it mattered in the four-hour-long BMW Endurance Challenge at Daytona. The team played the full-course yellows perfectly and despite pitting one more time than most other GS cars, Dillon Machavern and Spencer Pumpelly still found the top spot on the podium.
“It’s huge for two reasons, the guys worked really hard in the off season, and because of a lot of teams have new cars, and I doubt we’ll have that advantage when the other cars get up to speed and have miles and tuning underneath them,” Pumpelly said after the race.
“We were able to get a good start and get a healthy gap, and I watched Dillion fight for the lead with the #5 car. I knew we had a good car with him driving it, then I got back in, we stayed on top with strategy. We were always a step ahead strategy. We just had to be smart and clean.”
Second in class was the #83 Bimmerworld Racing BMW M4 GT4 driven by James Clay and Tyler Cooke. It was Cooke who made the pass for second in the final minutes of the race on Scott Maxwell in the #15 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang.
That car being piloted by Maxwell, Cole Custer, and Ty Majeski would go on to secure a third place finish in class, the best placed Ford Mustang in the race in the #15 Multimatic machine.
The race’s biggest incident featured four GS cars, the #33 Winward Racing Mercedes-AMG GT4 with Russell Ward, the #14 GNG Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4 driven by George Kurtz, the #22 Multimatic Motorsports Ford Mustang GT4 with Chase Briscoe, and finally the #99 Automatic Racing Aston Martin with Steven Phillips.
It was a chain reaction of incidents after the #14 Audi spun on cold tyres at the exit of Turn 1, this caused Briscoe to brake who was rear ended by the #33 driven by Phillips. Finally the #99 Aston Martin was left with nowhere to go who then slid into the side of the stationary #14 Audi causing heavy damage to both cars. The only car that would continue would be the #22 Mustang which stopped at the exit of the international horseshoe an hour and a half later with a gearbox issue.
Touring Car’s debut race in CTSC competition was all about the Audis, which made up six out of the seven entries in the class, three entered by Compass Racing.
The #77 Compass Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR driven by Britt Casey and Tom Long brought home the win, after holding the lead for most of the second half of the race.
Kuno Wittmer and Rodrigo Sales in the #74 Compass Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR ended the four-hour race in second, with the final spot on the TCR podium being claimed by the #53 Murillo Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR driven by Justin Piscitell and Matt Fassnacht.
The lone Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR entered by Rumcastle LLC ran into issues halfway through the race with the car stopping on pit road before being pushed by the mechanics to the box. The car would get going again for a brief moment, stopping again just after the exit of pit road, it was towed behind the wall but would return to the track eight laps down.
Also running into issues, quite literally, was the #75 Compass Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR which hit a stationary #39 Audi R8 LMS GT4 on the exit of Turn 1. The right rear wheel, and suspension being completely torn off that TCR car, Pierre Kleinubing was behind the wheel at the time of the incident, which did not bring out a full-course yellow.
In the Street Turner class it was a day to remember for Bimmerworld Racing as it secured its second podium and a day to forget for the MINI JCW Team.
Devin Jones and Nick Galante oiloted the #81 Bimmerworld Racing BMW 328I to a class win, the lone BMW in the class spent most of the race at the front of the six car class.
Second in class was the best of the two Porsches. The #21 Bodymotion Racing Porsche Cayman driven by Max Faulkner and Jason Rabe besting the next Porsche Cayman, the #55 Murillo Racing Cayman entry which claimed the final spot on the podium.
All three of the MINI JCW entries ran into issues, both the #37 and #52 Minis were pushed behind the wall in the second half of the race with unknown issues, and finally the #73 driven by Mat Pombo and Mika LaMarra found themselves a handful of laps down early and would spend the rest of the day clawing back to no avail.