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Aug 10, 2014 - 06:16 AM
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Saturday IMSA Road America Notebook
Posted by: newsla on Aug 10, 2014 - 06:11 AM
Saturday IMSA Road America Notebook

For the first time this season, the No. 01 car finished No. 1.

On a sun-splashed Saturday afternoon at Road America, good fortune shone-down on Lawson Aschenbach, who grabbed the lead when Pierre Kleinubing’s car sputtered about a third of a mile from the finish line and went on to win Round 9 of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge at Road America.


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“I think I was screaming on the radio as I crossed the finish line, ‘We just won this race,’” said Aschenbach, who co-drove the CKS Autosport Camaro Z/28.R with Eric Curran.

It did not look as if the day would end for Aschenbach and Curran on the top step of the podium. The two-hour, 30-minute race was slowed by a number of yellow flags, the last of which grouped the field behind Kleinubing with just minutes remaining.

When the race was green-flagged for a final lap dash to the finish, Kleinubing and Aschenbach ran by side-by-side through a number of Road America’s 14 turns. While exiting the final turn, Kleinubing, who shared the driving duties in the No. 76 Compass360 Racing Suburu WRX STI with Ray Mason, slowed and pulled to the right-hand side of the straightaway up the hill.

“Something happened in the drivetrain, the rear differential,” said Kleinubing, who settled for third place. “The wheels were just spinning. I had nothing.”

Aschenbach sped past and was followed by Robin Liddell, who climbed back from 16th place, the result of a penalty for speeding in pit lane, to finish second.

“I think (second place) tells you how angry I was about the penalty,” said Liddell, who co-drove the No. 6 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro Z/28.R with Andrew Davis. “I was so angry … I got up as far up the grid as fast as possible.”

The Street Tuner class was won by Terry Borcheller and Mike LaMarra in the No. 23 Burton Racing BMW 128i.

“We’ve struggled all year, but I kind of had the feeling (of a good race) in practice,” said Borcheller. “It felt like the car was so good. We hit it so good, the set-up, the power and Mike’s opening stint in the car.”

Will Nonnamaker and Wayne Nonnamaker (Team Sahlen/Porsche Cayman) finished second and Cody Ellsworth and John Weisberg (BERG Racing/Porsche Cayman) were third.

Continental Tire, IMSA Extend Partnership

The multi-year partnership of Continental Tire and the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) has been extended through 2018, the tire-maker and sports car racing sanctioning body announced Saturday at Road America.

Continental Tire will continue as the official tire of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, as part of the extension.

“We are extremely proud to continue our partnership with IMSA,” said Travis Roffler, director of marketing for Continental Tire. “We are committed to the growth and success of sports car racing in America and we are happy to continue our dedication to giving drivers, teams and manufacturers a tire with the best technologies that they can depend on every lap.”

Continental Tire also will continue as the exclusive tire supplier and sponsor to the Prototype (P), Prototype Challenge (PC) and Grand Touring Daytona (GTD) classes, and as the entitlement sponsor and exclusive tire supplier to the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC). The GT Le Mans (GTLM) class in the TUDOR Championship will continue to be open to competition from multiple tire manufacturers.

“As we continue to build the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship and Continental SportsCar Challenge, it is vital to have enthusiast partners to help us grow the sport,” said IMSA CEDO, Ed Bennett. “Continental Tire has been and will continue to be one of our most active and supportive partners.”

Circuitous Route To Co-Driving

Last August at Road America, Scott Sharp and Ryan Dalziel were in the same paddock, but in different series.

This year at Road America, Sharp and Dalziel are not just in the same paddock, but in the same series and as teammates -- the duo co-drives the Extreme Speed Motorsports No. 1 Tequila Patrón Honda HPD ARX-03b.

Months prior to the 2014 debut of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series both competed at Road America on the same weekend at the same venue for the first and only time.

Dalziel, driving in the GRAND-AM Daytona Prototype class, finished 14th. A day later, Sharp, competing in the ALMS Prototype class, finished second in class and overall.

Both drivers have experienced success at the Elkhart Lake race track in recent years. Sharp was the Prototype class runner-up in 2013 and was the GT third-place finisher in 2012. Dalziel, meanwhile, was the GRAND-AM race runner-up in 2012.

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