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(Photo: Sideline Sports Photography)

Matt Plumb Fastest in Opening Watkins Glen CTSC Practice

On Thursday afternoon, IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge teams took to Watkins Glen International’s 3.4-mile long course for opening practice.  C360R’s Matt Plumb was fastest overall in his McLaren 570S GT4 with a lap of 118.139 seconds (103.607 mph).

Plumb credits his pace out of the box to testing.  However, he’s not resting on any laurels.

“There’s very little glory in winning practice,” Plumb told Frontstretch in the CTSC garage.  “We have been here [at Watkins Glen] and done a lot of testing.  We knew exactly where we were setup-wise and that we’d be fast out of the box.  But, its just a matter of time before everyone sorts it out.”

Plumb’s lap was nearly two-thirds of a second faster than Trent Hindman in the Bodymotion Racing Porsche.  Nico Rondet in the second C360R McLaren was third fastest, followed by TeamTGM’s Hugh Plumb.  Motorsport in Action’s Kenny Wilden was fifth quickest.

In Street Tuner, it appears that some of the same teams are quick once again.  Mat Pombo put the No. 73 MINI JCW Team MINI at the top of the chart with a lap of 126.937 seconds (96.426 mph).  With teammate Derek Jones at the wheel, the No. 73 won the ST pole in moist conditions last year.

Pombo’s lap was the only ST lap in the 126-second bracket.  More than half a second back was Stevan McAleer in the ModSpace-sponsored Mazda MX-5 for Freedom Autosport.  Murillo Racing’s Eric Foss was third quickest in the best of the Porsche Caymans, followed by Rennsport One’s Spencer Pumpelly.  Owen Trinkler was fifth fastest in the only Nissan in the field.

It was not a completely calm practice session.  Freedom Autosport’s Britt Casey Jr. crashed the No. 27 Trumpf-sponsored Mazda MX-5 and was done for the session after only turning in 10 laps.  Casey was ok, but his Mazda suffered significant right side damage.  After practice, the team replaced the front fender and the passenger door.  Additional work will be required prior to the next practice session.

Results of CTSC Continental Tire 120 at the Glen Practice No. 1

IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge teams have two more practice sessions on Friday.  The first session will be 45 minutes in length and begins at 8 a.m.  The second one is a mere 20 minutes in length and scheduled to run immediately prior to qualifying.

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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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