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May 22, 2014 - 08:31 AM
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IMSA Continental Tire Challenge News And Notes: Lime Rock Park
Posted by: newsla on May 22, 2014 - 08:29 AM
Sports Cars
IMSA Continental Tire Challenge News And Notes: Lime Rock Park


The Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge will headline Memorial Day weekend at Lime Rock Park, continuing a tradition of holiday competition that dates back to 1967 on the 1.5-mile circuit in Lakeville, Conn. The series will run a pair of two-hour, 30-minute races on Saturday for the Grand Sport (GS) and Street Tuner (ST) classes.

 

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This marks the ninth consecutive year that the series will race at Lime Rock. The track hosted the series’ season finale the past two years. The Continental Tire Challenge raced during the Memorial Day Classic from 2006 through 2011.

The ST race begins at 9:10 a.m. ET, followed by the GS race at 2:15 p.m. Practice and qualifying sessions for both classes will be held on Friday.

Turner Motorsport is a four-time GS winner at Lime Rock, winning in 2006-2007, and 2009-2010. The team’s current team driver Bill Auberlen won in 2006-07.

In ST, Georgian Bay and Freedom Autosport are two-time winners. Georgian Bay is the current CKS Autosport, with Eric Curran of nearby Holyoke, Mass., winning both races alongside Jamie Holtom in 2006 and 2008. Curran won the final GRAND-AM Rolex Series GT-class event at Lime Rock park in 2013 with co-driver Lawson Aschenbach. Aschenbach — who filled in for Boris Said in that event — joins Curran again this weekend in the No. 01 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R.

The weekend returns IMSA as the Memorial Day Weekend headliner. The IMSA GT Series was a holiday tradition at the scenic circuit in the Berkshire Hills from 1973 through 1998, led by stars including five-time winner Peter Gregg and four-time winner Al Holbert.

Freedom Autosport’s Sgt. Dwyer In Memorial Day Spotlight

Growing up in Litchfield, Conn., U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Liam Dwyer often attended races at nearby Lime Rock Park, dreaming of someday driving at the famous circuit.

Sgt. Dwyer lost his mobility, but not his dreams, when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan in 2011. He lost his left leg among many serious injuries. Competition driving played a major role in his recuperation.

This weekend, Sgt. Dwyer will drive in his second professional race, sharing the Freedom Autosport No. 27 Mazda MX-5 with Tom Long. He uses a prosthetic leg to operate the clutch. Last year, racing at the club level, he set the track record in his class in his first time out at Lime Rock.

A native of Waterbury, Conn., Sgt. Dwyer currently lives in Bethesda, Md., where he undergoes 4-5 hours daily of physical therapy with the goal of staying active in the Marine Corps.

“I’ve done 2,000 laps at Lime Rock, and I consider it my home track,” Sgt. Dwyer said. “We’re going to do well there – we’re going to do well at all the tracks that Mazda has me racing at, so I’m not worried. I’ve just got to go out there and do what I’m supposed to do.”

Freedom Autosport is a two-time ST winner at Lime Rock (2011 and 2013). Long drove with team owner Derek Whitis in the 2011 victory.

All servicemen and veterans – along with their immediate families – will be admitted free to the circuit’s annual Memorial Day Weekend event.

Lime Rock A Track Of Firsts For GS Point Leaders Edwards, Hindman

Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3 drivers John Edwards and Trent Hindman, leaders in the GS point standings, both celebrated personal career milestones at Lime Rock Park.

Edwards scored his first GRAND-AM Rolex Series and ALMS victories at the circuit.

He has two Rolex Series GT victories, winning in 2010 for SpeedSource in a Mazda RX-8 and in 2012 in a Stevenson Motorsports Camaro. Edwards also recorded his first ALMS pole at Lime Rock in 2013, and went on to win driving a BMW Team RLL BMW Z4 GTE.

Making only his fifth start in the Continental Tire Challenge, Hindman won his first pole in last year’s season finale. Since then, he’s added poles at Sebring and Mazda Raceway.

The two teamed up for 2014 to co-drive the No. 46 Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3. After opening the season with runner-up finishes at Daytona and Sebring, they co-drove to victory at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

After three events, Edwards and Hindman hold a 22-point lead (99-77) in the GS points over TRG-AMR drivers Max Riddle and Kris Wilson.

Borcheller, Liddell, Lally Among Multiple Lime Rock Race Winners

A number of competitors in this weekend’s Continental Tire Challenge races are former winners at Lime Rock Park.

Terry Borcheller, the 2013 ST champion with Mike LaMarra for Burton Racing in the No. 23 BMW 128i, won in GTO in 2000 and GT in 2001 in the first two Rolex Series races at the circuit.

Borcheller and LaMarra are doing double-duty this weekend, also sharing the Fall-Line Motorsports No. 48 BMW M3 in the GS race.

Robin Liddell is a two-time Rolex Series GT winner, winning in both 2011 and 2012 in a Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GS.R. The latter victory was with John Edwards, the current GS points leader. Liddell moved to the GS class for 2014, winning with Andrew Davis at Sebring in the No. 6 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro Z/28.R.

Andy Lally also moves to Stevenson Motorsports, co-driving the No. 9 Camaro Z/28.R with Matt Bell. Lally was a Rolex Series GT winner in 2006 in GT with TRG and in 2001 in SRPII with Archangel Motorsports Services. He also won in the ALMS in 2010, taking first in the GTC class.

Defending GS champions Matt Plumb and Nick Longhi were Lime Rock winners in both 2011 and 2012 for Rum Bum Racing. Billy Johnson, overall winner in 2013 for Roush Racing, returns this year in the No. 158 Multimatic Motorsports/Miller Racing Ford Mustang Boss 302R. Johnson co-drives with Ian James, 2004 ALMS P2 winner at Lime Rock.

Seth Thomas, driver of BimmerWorld’s No. 82 BMW 328i, won for that team in ST in 2010.

Pobst, Carbonell Hold Lead In Tight ST Points Battle

Back-to-back victories at Sebring and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca have allowed Andrew Carbonell and Randy Pobst to take a nine-point lead in the battle for the Street Tuner (ST) championship after three races. But they can’t afford to glance in the rear-view mirror of their No. 26 Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5, as nine drivers are within seven points of second in the standings.

Tyler Cooke and Greg Liefooghe are currently second in the standings, with 82 points compared to 89 for Carbonell and Pobst.

Third, with 79 points, are No. 5 CJ Wilson Racing Mazda MX-5 drivers Chad McCumbee and Stevan McAleer. Another point behind are defending ST champions, Terry Borcheller and Mike LaMarra. tallying 78 points in the No. 23 Burton Racing BMW 128i.

No. 56 Murillo Racing/Mosing Motorcars BMW 328i driver Eric Foss is fifth with 76 points. He and co-driver Jeff Mosing won the season opener at Daytona. Mosing, who was forced to sit out the race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with an ailing back, is seventh in the points with 65 points.

Brothers Will and Wayne Nonnamaker, co-drivers of the No. 42 Team Sahlen Porsche Cayman, share sixth in the points with 75 markers apiece.

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