· Continental ExtremeContact DR completes second round of racing
· Miami 200 will be broadcast on SPEED Channel at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 13.
Homestead, FL (March 9, 2010) - Racing is often described as being a family sport, and that was well demonstrated on Saturday afternoon as Jack Roush Jr. won the Miami 200 to bring his famous father Jack Sr. the 400th race victory for Roush Racing in round two of the 2010 GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge championship on Saturday at Homestead Miami Speedway.
Continental Tire recently became title sponsor and official tire for the popular endurance road-racing series, and the Homestead Miami Speedway event marked the second race weekend for the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge drivers and teams to utilize the Continental ExtremeContact DR tire.
Last year, the two Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge classes staged separate races at Homestead Miami Speedway, as the Street Tuner (ST) and Grand Sport (GS) both provided a thrilling outcome with close finishes. But running a combined-class event on Saturday didn't change that excitement level one bit, as the 2.5-hour race produced five different leaders and just four caution periods.
For the second year running, the Street Tuner (ST) class saw the Honda Civic Si of Compass360 Racing doing battle with the Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5 for the class win. Once again, the two entries exchanged the lead on the last lap, but the outcome was reversed from last year after the Freedom Autosport MX-5 of Tom Long and Derek Whittis emerged with the race win on Saturday.
Sharing a Ford Mustang FR500C with Billy Johnson, Roush overcame a post-qualifying tech infraction that forced him to start from the back of the pack to move to the point and score a Grand Sports (GS) Class victory by less than three seconds after 2.5 hours of flat-out racing.
"It was a real exciting race for us," Roush Jr. said. "I can't be more proud of my team and all the work they've done. It was a real privilege to be part of history with the Roush Racing group. I'm looking forward to many more races. Typically the car will have a push or be loose, but when both are happening its clear it's an overall grip issue, and that happened during my stint so managing the steering through the banking on the oval became critical. I pushed the limits of that, and I just tried to ride the edge of what the Continental Tires could do and we came out as winners, so I am very excited!"
With 69 cars sharing the 2.3-mile road course on Homestead Miami's notoriously abrasive racing surface, the Continental ExtremeContact DR tires were put to the test, but came through as the race provided a last-lap thriller for the fans.
"It was an exciting battle," said Long of his move to take the lead. "It was like déjà vu from last year, but this time, our Mazda came out on top. The MX-5 handled well in the infield, and the parity in the class made for a great race and I still had all the traction I needed underneath me with the Continental Tires right up to the last lap."
It wasn't just the last lap that was exciting for the fans on hand, as the race also included some dramatic moments between the green and checkered flags.
Daytona round winners Rum Bum Racing were looking to be well on their way to extending a dream start to the season as Matt Plumb ran well ahead of the field. But as he came up to slow-moving traffic, contact dislodged the hood of his machine, robbing him of all his forward vision when the hood slammed into his windscreen. A long slow trip around the track for the unsighted driver came to a dramatic finish as Plumb slammed into the pit wall, ending the day for the BMW M3 and dashing Rum Bum's shot at a perfect record.
Second-place finishers in the ST class, Lawson Aschenbach and David Thilenius, now lead the standings by seven (67-60) over fourth-place finishers Seth Thomas and Bill Heumann in the No. 81 Performance Friction/RAYS Engineering BMW 328i.
Charlie Putman and Charles Espenlaub left the track with a seven-point advantage (64-57) over Terry Borcheller and Andrew Hendricks in the GS standings.
The Miami 200 will be broadcast on SPEED Channel at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 13. Round three of the 2010 championship will be staged at Barber Motorsports Park on April 8-10. Full results and story to be posted at www.grand-am.com
For additional information:
About Continental Tire
Continental Tire is a division of the Continental Corporation, and offers a complete premium line of ultra-high performance, passenger and light truck tires that instill confidence and a passion for driving. Continental tires are fitted as original equipment on many of the world's finest automobiles. Learn more about Continental Tire by visiting www.continentaltire.com.
With sales of approximately €20 billion in 2009 Continental is among the leading automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, Continental contributes enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also a competent partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently employs approximately 134,500 in 46 countries.
About GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge
The GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge is GRAND-AM's showcase for the latest in international and American-made stock high performance sports cars, coupes and sedans. With major modifications permitted only to improve safety, the Sports Car Challenge is home to the same cars seen on streets and highways around the world every day. Contestants compete for both class honors and the overall victory. Series races are primarily run as the featured support events for the Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16.
Like the Rolex Series, the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge is made up of two classes of race cars. The big-bore Grand Sport (GS) class features a rules package that allows exotic international machines like the Porsche 996 and 997, Nissan 350Z, BMW M3 and others to go head-to-head with American iron such as the Camaro and Dodge Challenger. The smaller Street Tuner (ST) class is GRAND-AM's offering to the import and compact car crowd, with the Mazda RX-8 and Mazda MX-5, Chevrolet Cobalt SS, Dodge SRT4, Mini Cooper S, Acura TSX, a variety of BMWs and other models eligible. All Continental Sports Car Challenge classes run on Continental Extreme Contact tires.