The Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge concluded a successful two-day test Friday in preparation for its first race at Sebring International Raceway, with the Ford of Phoenix American Motorsports and the BMW of Murillo Racing/Mosing Motorcars recording the fastest speeds in their respective classes.
Andrew Aquilante led the Grand Sport (GS) division in the No. 32 Ford Mustang Boss 302R, running a lap of 2:16.831 (98.399mph) in Friday’s morning session. Eric Foss led both of Friday’s Street Tuner (ST) sessions, with a best lap of 2:25.485 (92.546mph) in the No. 56 BMW 328i.
The Continental Tire Challenge will return to the historic 17-turn, 3.74-mile circuit for the second round of the 2014 season on Friday, March 14.
“After yesterday’s practice we made a couple of setup changes to make our car handle the bumps a little better,” said Aquilante, who co-drives with Kurt Rezzetano for the Pennsylvania-based team. “So far, it looks like it’s working. The car was a lot more consistent today than in Thursday’s testing.”
Ken Wilden was second-fastest in GS, running 2:16.861 (98.399 mph) in the No. 47 BMW M3 of Fall-Line Motorsports co-driven by Dr. Rod Randall. Third, with a lap of 2:16.995 (98.377 mph) was Billy Johnson, who joins Ian James in the No. 158 Ford Mustang Boss 302R of Multimatic Motorsports/Miller Racing.
After running second in both of Thursday’s sessions, Foss stepped up Friday. A driving instructor for the Panoz School at Sebring from 1999-2007, Foss and co-driver Jeff Mosing were ST winners in the 2014 season-opening BMW Performance 200 at Daytona International Speedway.
“I was shaking off the cobwebs on Thursday – it was my first time here since 2009,” Foss said. “It probably will be a pretty crazy race when we come back here next month. It seems every time we race at Sebring, if you’re in the top five on the last lap you have a chance of winning. We’re working on getting our car to put us in that position.”
David Murry was second fastest on Friday after leading both of Thursday’s sessions, although he improved his best lap in the No. 64 BMW 328i of Team TGM he shares with owner Ted Giovanis by nearly eight-10ths of a second to 2:25.600 (92.473mph). Third in the test was Todd Buras, who ran a lap of 2:26.623 (91.827mph) in the No. 95 of Irish Mike’s Racing.