The #73 MINI JCW driven by Mat Pombo and Mike LaMarra won a hard-fought battle with the #81 BMW and the #52 MINI to win the Street Tuner Class in the two-hour Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race at Lime Rock Park.
Nick Galante, driving the #81 BimmerWorld 328i that he shared with Devin Jones, led the class for the first 50 minutes of the race, before the ST leaders pitted under yellow. After the stop, the #52 MINI shared by Mark Pombo and Colin Mullan led ahead of the #73 MINI and the #81 BMW. Then #73 passed #52 for the class lead.
Devin Jones in the BimmerWorld car got by #52 with about 30 minutes remaining in the race, and went on to finish second, running just behind the #73 MINI the rest of the way to the checkered flag. The #37 MINI driven by Nate Norenberg and Derek Jones finished fourth.
James Clay and Tyler Cooke in the #82 M4 GT4 finished seventh overall and seventh in the Grand Sport class. Another M4 GT4, the #19 Stephen Cameron car driven by Ari Balogh and Greg Liefooghe, went behind the wall with a mechanical problem; it returned to the track to finish, but missed over half the race. The overall and Grand Sport wins went to Hugh Plumb and Owen Trinkler in the #46 Team TGM Mercedes-AMG. It was the first win for the Mercedes in CTSC competition.
Michael Johnson and Stephen Simpson in the #54 JDC-Miller Motorsports Audi won the TCR class in an Audi RS3 LMS TCR. It was the first professional race win for Johnson, 25, who was paralyzed at the age of twelve in a motorcycle incident. Simpson got by Kenton Koch in another Audi in a wheel-to-wheel drag race after the two cars exited the downhill turn side-by-side on the final lap.
The CTSC Series runs again at Road America on August 3–5.—Brian Morgan