Continental Tire Challenge Wraps Up Final Practice Sessions of 2017
Thursday, October 5, 2017

The IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge has officially completed its final practice sessions of the year.

Ahead of Friday’s FOX Factory 120 at Road Atlanta, Matt Plumb in the No. 76 C360R McLaren GT4 posted the fastest lap of the day in the Grand Sport (GS) class at 1:28.879 (102.881 mph). The early speed is an encouraging sign for the team, which hasn’t finished in the top five since a third-place finish at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in July.

“The car is great,” said Plumb, who co-drives with Paul Holton. “We tested here about three months ago. We did a lot of testing, so this was a place we felt very confident about right off the bat. We knew where to start.

“We’ve been trouble-free, which is unique this season especially with this car, obviously a new car this year. It goes a long way towards developing a car and getting all the pieces in place to go fast when everything’s working from the beginning. The team executes well and as long as we don’t have a hiccup, we’re going to make it happen.”

Another McLaren in GS didn’t have as great of a start to the weekend as Plumb and C360R. The No. 69 McLaren fielded by the Canada-based team Motorsports In Action took a hard hit during yesterday’s testing session. Jesse Lazare was behind the wheel and just eight laps into his run when a punctured tire and subsequent crash destroyed the car.

“We don’t have (teammates in the No. 68) Kenny (Wilden) or Rod (Randall) here this weekend, so we were able to convert everything over to the 68 car,” said Lazare’s co-driver Chris Green. “For Jesse and I to become a little more familiar with this car – it wasn’t set up perfectly the way we like it – we’re a little bit behind the eight ball right now, but these guys worked their butts off all night long making sure the car was perfect for us. They’ve delivered exactly that. I think by the time we look through the data, look through everything we’ve done on the car, tomorrow morning we’ll be in pretty good shape to go and hopefully get that long-deserved win.

In the Street Tuner (ST) class, Owen Trinkler topped both of the day’s practice sessions, with his fastest time coming in the morning at 1:35.416 (95.832 mph). Trinkler and co-driver Sarah Cattaneo pilot the No. 44 CRG-I Do Borrow Nissan Altima and this weekend’s race could potentially be the team’s last.

“We’re not really approaching anything different,” Trinkler said. “We’re going just like our process we’ve followed the last 10 races and we’re not changing anything because of that. I like Road Atlanta. I grew up around this track watching my dad race. Probably back in the ‘70s, I was in a crib there underneath the trees behind the tower, so I’ve been coming to this track for a long time.

“This track fits good with our team and Sarah’s doing a great job. I can’t thank our guys enough. We’ve been on a roll the last couple events and we’ll see if we can keep it going tomorrow.”

The FOX Factory 120 can be streamed live on IMSA.com and the IMSA mobile app with IMSA Radio commentary on Friday, Oct. 5 at 1:50 p.m. ET. The race broadcast will air on FS1 at 7 a.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 15. 

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