DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.—The BMW Performance 200 at Daytona International Speedway, the first race of the 2013 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge season, delivered what the series has always offered—intense multi-class racing from flag to flag.
After falling back early with a cut tire, Jack Roush and Billy Johnson in the #61 Roush Performance Mustang scored the GS class and overall win by 1.812 seconds over the charging #13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche Carrera of Nick Longhi and Matt Plumb, after a final 15-minute go-for-broke sprint which saw the Rum Bum car advance from fourth and eat into the Roush car’s considerable lead. John Farano and David Empringham’s #15 Multimatic Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage finished third.In ST, Lara Tallman and Vesko Kozarov in the #33 Skullcandy Nissan Altima Coupe scored their first CTSCC win by an even slimmer margin of only 1.715 over Tyler Cooke and Greg Liefooghe in the #81 BimmerWorld Racing BMW 328, the Bimmerworld boys took second from Kyle Gimple and Ryan Eversley in the #75 Compass360 Racing Honda Civic Si in the final run to the checkered flag.
Grand Sport Class: Action Flag to Flag
Jack Roush and Billy Johnson won their ninth and 14thh CTSCC victories respectively with Friday’s first-place finish, and it was a strong finish; Johnson led the final 26 laps despite pressure from leading the final 26 laps despite pressure from 2012 champs Empringham and Farano, and Plumb in the Rum Bum Porsche.
The start of the two-hour, 45-minute race was hotly contested. Nick Longhi, who started sixth in the #13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche Carrera, fought his way to second by the end of the first lap, trailing pole-sitter Jade Buford’s #55 Multimatic Motorsports Aston Martin Vantage by only .061 seconds. Roush started second but was swamped by the the BMWs and Porsche which started behind him.
The #45 Fall Line BMW co-driven by Al Carter and Hugh Plumb briefly captured the lead on lap three but at .the line Longhi in the Rum Bum Porsche was out in front. Buford moved into second on lap four.
On lap seven Brett Sandberg in the #48 Fall-Line BMW advanced from fourth to second but didn’t stay there long. Hs team mate Mark Boden in the #46 BMW lst control at Turn Five and collided with several cars.
According to one observer, Boden “pinballed down the track. He, tried to miss one car and hit another, then another, and then hit one which was trying hard to get out of his way.”
This brought on the first caution of the race. Just as the field was going back to green, David Thilenius in the #74 Compass360 Racing Honda Civic went off at Turn Seven in a very big way.
Thilenius was heading into the West Horseshoe when either his brakes failed or his throttle stuck. His Honda crossed the track to hit the Armco barrier hard enough to drive it a foot into the berm behind it, then spun into the entrance of the turn, caught in the dirt and flipped, once and almost again before landing wheels down and facing the wrong way.
Thilenius was unresponsive for what seemed like a long time, but was likely only a minute or two. Rescue personal pulled out the Jaws of Life to cut him free but happily he regained consciousness and was able to exit the car with assistance.
Thilenius could be seen suiting up on the stretcher talking to paramedics as they checked his neck. Eventually he was strapped to the stretcher and taken to the onsite Halifax Medical Center where he was found to have six fractured ribs.
Next: The Track Goes Green