CJ Wilson Racing Enters Home Weekend As Continental Tire Challenge Points Leaders
Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Circuit of The Americas is one of the races annually circled on the calendar for CJ Wilson Racing. Not only has the 3.4-mile road course been one of the team’s best tracks since the series started racing there in 2013, it’s also a home race for the Austin, Texas-based operation.

But this year’s Circuit of The Americas 120 takes on added significance for the two-car team. That’s because its pair of Porsches enter the weekend 1-2 in the Grand Sport (GS) class point standings through two races, with the No. 35 Techemet/Engie/Winward Porsche Cayman GT4 of Russell Ward and Damien Faulkner leading the No. 33 Porsche of Fresno/Sonic Tools/Forgeline/Alpinestars Porsche Cayman GT4 by one point, 58-57.

To prepare for the weekend, the team spent two days last month testing at the track. Among those present at the test was team owner CJ Wilson, who also turned laps in the No. 33 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup he competes with in the IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama.

“It’s the biggest race of the year for us,” said Wilson. “It’s at such an incredible facility that everyone wants to come out. We have a lot of business partners and a lot of fans who, like us, view this as their home race as well.”

Wilson, of course, made his mark about three hours to the north in Arlington pitching for the Texas Rangers. Throughout much of his 11-year Major League Baseball career – which also included four years with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – Wilson had a passion for sports car racing.

In late 2010, he formed CJ Wilson Racing was a vision of creating a winning sports car racing team. Three years later the team won its first Continental Tire Challenge Street Tuner (ST)-class race at COTA in 2013.

In 2015, the team scored its first ST championship, and followed that up with a runner-up points finish in the GS class in 2016.

“Being shacked up 20 minutes away has given us a lot of perspective over the years,” Wilson said. “Really it’s just about the team continuing to make forward progress.”

Both CJ Wilson Racing cars have had a strong start to the 2017 season despite not yet finding the top spot on the podium. The two cars finished second and third in the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway, and one race later finished fourth and sixth at Sebring International Raceway.

That consistency has kept the two teams ahead of the Daytona-winning No. 12 Bodymotion Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 of Trent Hindman and Cameron Cassels, which sits third in the GS standings, just one point out of second.

For the second time this season, Wilson will have a double-duty weekend at the Advance Auto Parts Sportscar Showdown. He will drive in a pair of 45-minute Porsche GT3 Cup races, in addition to monitoring his Continental Tire Challenge program throughout the weekend.

Opening practice for the Continental Tire Challenge will begin on Thursday at 1:40 p.m. ET. Qualifying will begin at 12:15 p.m. on Friday, followed by the two-hour Circuit of The Americas 120 at 3:45 p.m. ET, which will be streamed live with IMSA Radio commentary on IMSA.com. The race will air on FS1 Saturday, May 13 at 12:30 p.m. ET.

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