Chevrolet, Mazda prevail in wet Watkins Glen CTSC race
Stevenson Motorsports takes third straight Continental Tire race.
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – It’s never a good sign when the pace car, lights flashing, takes the checkered flag at the end of the race, but a profoundly soggy Watkins Glen International raceway resulted in a yellow-flag finish to the Continental Tire 150 at the Glen.
With 15 Grand Sport and 31 Street Tuner entries, it was a full field for the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, but near-constant rain, ranging from a drizzle to a downpour, caused a red flag near the end of the two-hour, 30-minute race, with the last 26 minutes run under the caution flag.
Up front – after the pace car, at least – was the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R of Robin Liddell and Andrew Davis, who took the GS and overall victory for Stevenson Motorsports, adding to the teams already-healthy lead in the points standings.
Second was Trent Hindman and Ashley Freiberg in the Fall-Line IHG/Trim-Tex BMW M3, followed by B.J. Zacharias and Brad Jaeger in the Doran Racing Nismo GT Academy Nissan 370Z in third.
Fourth was Jade Buford and Austin Cindric, who was fresh from a solid performance last weekend in the Red Bull Global Rally Cross Lites series at Daytona International Speedway. They were driving the new Multimatic Ford Shelby GT350R-C.
Conditions were often “treacherous,” Davis said. “You were just on the edge all the time. It’s mentally exhausting.”
The rain was “relentless. Certainly conditions were tricky,” said Liddell, who is in his eighth season with the team. “I’m not overly happy about finishing under yellow, but I respect the decision by race control to do it.” This is the team’s third straight win this season, and their second straight at Watkins Glen.
In Street Tuner, Stevan McAleer and Chad McCumbee, driving for major league baseball pitcher C.J. Wilson’s ModSpace Maxda MX-5 team, took the class win, finishing 12th overall.
Second in ST was another Mazda MX-5, driven by Christian Szymczak and Justin Piscitell for the Alara Racing team. Third was Chad Gilsinger and Kevin Boehm in the Honda Civic Si, fielded by the HART team. Fourth was the C.J. Wilson team of Andrew Carbonell and Liam Dwyer, who won at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
It was a good points day for Piscatell, who came to The Glen in third, as he was the highest finisher of the points contenders.
McAleer has won before, but this was the first series victory for McCumbee, who comes from the dirt and pavement stock car world, and has had little experience driving in the rain. “I surely didn’t expect the first win to be in a wet race – coming from stock cars, when it drizzles we go to sleep.
“Today was a huge confidence booster for me,” McCumbee said. “And a lot of that can be attributed to the team, and to Stevan. This was kind of like driving on dirt – you look for the wet spots on dirt, and here you tried to avoid them.”
There were multiple incidents, none of them serious.
The race will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 at 10 a.m. ET on July 5.
Next up for the Continental Tire Challenge: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park July 10-11, followed by Lime Rock July 24-25.
Camaros on third row at The Glen
Hindman and Freiberg back on the podium at Watkins Glen