(Photo: Ford Performance)

Nico Rondet, Jade Buford Top CTSC Saturday Roar Sessions

Much like the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge teams on hand in Daytona had to deal with inclement weather in the morning.  Only 12 of the 31 teams in Daytona chose to even participate in Session No. 3, which started at 9 a.m. on a soaked track.

For those who ventured onto the track, the conditions were rather difficult.  Compass360 Racing’s Nico Rondet was fastest overall with a lap of 128.106 seconds (100.042 mph).  That lap was nearly a half-second faster than Jesse Lazare in the MIA/Pfaff McLaren 570S GT4.  Jean-Francois Dumoulin, who finished seventh in the XFINITY Series race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 2009, was third fastest to complete a McLaren 1-2-3.

In Street Tuner, only five of the ten entries ventured on-track.  Of those that braved the conditions, Murillo Racing’s Jeff Mosing was fastest with a lap of 138.525 seconds (92.518 mph).  That lap was nearly 2.3 seconds faster than BimmerWorld Racing’s Greg Liefooghe.  Liefooghe’s boss, BimmerWorld Racing owner James Clay was third fastest.

In Session No. 4, most of the main players were back out on the track.  Multimatic Motorsports found themselves back on top with the new Ford Mustang GT4.

Jade Buford ended up fastest in the dry fourth session with a lap of 116.401 seconds (110.102 mph).  However, the rest of the pack was much closer than they were on Friday.  Buford’s lap was only four-tenths of a second faster than GMG Racing’s Matt Halliday in the No. 11 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport.  Compass360 Racing’s Matt Plumb was third quickest in his McLaren, followed by Andy Lee in the second GMG Racing Porsche.  Kris Wilson in the No. 3 Aston Martin from The Racers Group was fifth quickest.

Nick Longhi returned from a couple of years out of the drivers’ seat to take this Cayman directly to the top of the ST order. (Credit: Phil Allaway)

The Street Tuner class saw a late addition to the driving lineup.  2013 Grand Sport champion Nick Longhi was drafted into the No. 18 Porsche Cayman for Rennsport One and the move paid dividends immediately.  Longhi turned in a lap at 125.404 seconds (102.198 mph) to top the charts.  Longhi has not raced since 2014 and spent next to no time getting back up to speed.

Longhi’s lap was one-sixth of a second faster than Eric Foss in the Murillo Racing Cayman.  JDC/Miller MotorSports’ Stephen Simpson was third quickest in the lone BMW 228i, followed by Compass360 Racing’s Pierre Kleinubing.  BimmerWorld Racing’s Tyler Cooke rounded out the top 5.

IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge teams have two more on-track sessions on Sunday in Daytona.  The first of those sessions will begin at 9 a.m. EST.

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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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