On Thursday, the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge held two practice sessions at Road Atlanta in preparation for Friday’s FOX Factory 120. C360R’s Matt Plumb was fastest overall with a lap of 88.879 seconds (102.881 mph).
Practice No. 1
Plumb’s quick lap of the day came during the morning session, which started at 9:50 a.m. As a result, the air and track temperatures were cooler. The track simply had more speed available to give.
Plumb’s lap was nearly a quarter of a second faster than KohR Motorsports’ Scott Maxwell in the Nano Pro MT Ford Mustang GT4. TeamTGM’s Guy Cosmo was third quickest in a Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR, followed by Nico Rondet. VOLT Racing’s Alan Brynjolfsson was fifth quickest in the second Ford Mustang GT4.
A surprise in the session was that KohR Motorsports’ second entry (No. 60) was the slowest Grand Sport team on-track. Nate Stacy‘s best lap was 3.6 seconds slower than Plumb’s chart-topping time. This turned out to be the only on-track action Friday for the car. Teammate Parker Chase, making his debut in the Ford Mustang GT4, did not turn a lap at speed all day.
In Street Tuner, CRG-I Do Borrow’s Owen Trinkler was quickest in his Nissan Altima Coupe with a lap of 95.416 seconds (95.833 mph). Trinkler’s time was only six-hundredths of a second faster than Mat Pombo in the No. 73 MINI for MINI JCW Team. Trinkler and Pombo are currently tied for fourth in points, so it is a heads-up battle for championship positioning.
C360R’s Pierre Kleinubing, coming off of a victory at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, was third quickest. Points leader Eric Foss was fourth fastest in the best of the Caymans, while BimmerWorld Racing’s Greg Liefooghe was fifth.
Practice No. 2
In the mid-afternoon session, KohR Motorsports’ Scott Maxwell was fastest with a time of 89.283 seconds (102.416 mph) in the No. 59 Ford Mustang GT4. That lap was two-tenths of a second faster than Plumb in second. Co-points leader Dylan Murcott was third fastest in the Rennsport One Porsche, nearly a half-second off the pace. Bodymotion Racing’s Trent Hindman was fourth quickest, while Damien Faulkner was fifth in the Techemet-sponsored No. 35 for CJ Wilson Racing.
Street Tuner saw Trinkler once again top the pack, this time with a lap of 96.212 seconds (95.040 mph). This lap was eight-hundredths of a second faster than Christian Szymczak in the No. 34 Mazda MX-5 for Murillo Racing. Rennsport One’s Spencer Pumpelly was best of the Caymans in third, followed by Justin Piscitell in the Murillo Racing No. 56 Cayman. Liefooghe was fifth quickest.
The two practice sessions were relatively clean. The morning session saw no red flags flown. The afternoon session did have one, but it was for debris.
Qualifying for the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge FOX Factory 120 is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Friday morning after a 20-minute warmup. Given the early morning session, those who were best in the cool weather
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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 the Super DIRTcar Series.
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