(Credit: Phil Allaway)

Charles Espenlaub Fastest in First CTSC Roar Practice

On Friday morning, the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge teams in attendance took to the 3.56-mile infield road course for their first session of 2017.  It was generally uneventful as teams got used to new equipment and new driver lineups.

In the session, Automatic Racing’s Charles Espenlaub was fastest overall and in Grand Sport with a lap of 116.125 seconds (110.364 mph) in his Aston Martin Vantage GT4.  That lap was three-tenths of a second faster than Guy Cosmo in TeamTGM’s No. 46 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.  Muehlner Motorsports America’s Cameron Lawrence was two-tenths’ further in arrears in third.

Chris Green was the fastest of the drivers in new equipment, turning in the fourth fastest time in the No. 69 McLaren 570S GT4 for the new MIA/Pfaff McLaren team.  GMG Racing’s Matt Halliday rounded out the top 5 in the No. 11 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.

18 of the 21 Grand Sport entries entered for this week took time in the first session.  The second McLaren entries from both MIA/Pfaff McLaren and Automatic Racing/VOLT Racing did not set times.

In Street Tuner, only ten entries have been filed for the test.  Nine of those teams set times in the first session.

Rennsport One’s Connor Bloum was fastest in his No. 18 Porsche Cayman with a lap of 124.238 seconds (103.157 mph) to top the ST charts.  Bloum’s lap was a full second and change faster than Murillo Racing’s Eric Foss in another Cayman.  Stephen Simpson was third fastest in JDC/Miller MotorSports’ No. 54 BMW 228i.  Pierre Kleinubing was fourth quickest in the sole Audi S3, while Tyler Cooke was fifth in the No. 84 BimmerWorld Racing BMW 328i.

The CTSC teams have one more practice session this afternoon in Daytona starting at 1:40 p.m.  It is scheduled to last for an hour.

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About Phil Allaway

Phil Allaway
Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor. Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as Tony Stewart's Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions.

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2 comments

  1. Avatar

    You need to update your picture. The #99 doesn’t look like that anymore.

    • Phil Allaway

      You’re right, Peter. We do not currently have any pictures of the No. 99 Aston Martin for 2017. The picture posted on here was from July at Watkins Glen.

      Automatic Racing’s listed PR rep in the 2016 IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge Media Guide (the 2017 one isn’t out yet) has an e-mail address that bounces.

      I will be at the Rolex 24 in a couple of weeks for Frontstretch and will try to get pictures of every car in both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge while I’m there. Shouldn’t be too hard to do. Hope you enjoyed our Roar Before the 24 coverage.