Sunday, January 29, 2012

Boss Mustang Takes Continental Tire Series Daytona 200 for 2012

Photo Credit: Grand Am

The Rolex 24 at Daytona sports car race receives credit for being the annual kick-off for North American motorsports. However, the sensational around-the-clock event is not the first set of vehicles to compete at the Florida race facility. One day before the high-profile 24-hour event, the Grand Am Continental Tire Series christens the Daytona International Speedway with a brief 200-mile sprint race among production-derived race cars.

Composing of the two categories, the BMW Performance at 200 Daytona features the powerful Grand Sport and the smaller Sport Tuning category vehicles, The 2012 season opener for the Grand Am Continental Tire Series allowed the engine notes of the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Porsche 997, Kia Forte and the BMW M3 to hum across the Daytona track for 58 laps.

A first time for many driver and car combinations unite in competition, the The 200-mile event on the 3.56-mile road course proved precarious even before the green flag dropped. Jarrett Andretti (son of NASCAR/INDYCAR winner John Andretti) made contact with the turn 2 retaining barrier. Along with Andretti, the #57 Volkswagen Jetta piloted by Eric Metzger spun in turn 3 minutes later.

When the green flag finally dropped after the chaotic warm-up laps, pole-sitting #10 Roush Performance Ford Mustang Boss 302R driven by Shelby Blackstock enjoyed a short-lived time at the front of the GS class. Launching from 4th place in the opening lap, the #01 Chevrolet Camaro of Eric Curran took the lead of the Daytona race. By lap 3, the #55 Aston Martin Vantage was running in second place while the #13 Rum Bum Racing BMW M3 was third. In the Grand Am Continental Tire Series ST category, the Kia Forte Koup driven by Andy Lally led the first 10 laps until the #81 BMW 328i took the class' top position.

Photo Credit: Grand Am

As the race progressed, the front position of both Grand Am Continental Tire Series categories would not be entirely enviable. Consisting of a total of nine lead changes on the front, the BMW Performance 200 at Daytona GS class would end with some pacesetter falling out of the fold. the #01 Camaro early race-leading pace ended with a 22nd place finishing position. The BGB Motorsports Porsche 997 also led mid-way through the event but resulted in the race team settling for 11th place.

Taking the lead on lap 41, the #61 Roush Performance Ford Mustang Boss 302R driven by Billy Johnson and Jack Roush Jr never gave up the top position in the BMW Performance 200 at Daytona. Taking the checkered flag, the 2012 race victory is the first for the Ford Mustang since 2007. In the final results, the Grand Sport category  Ford Mustang Boss 302R and BMW M3 sports cars that covered the top 11 spots. Behind the winning Roush Performance Mustang Boss 302R, three BMW M3s fielded by Fall-Line Motorsports finished 2nd through 4th place.

Narrowing losing the GS class to the Ford Mustang Boss 302R car, the BMW brand's plans for one class victory was also quashed in the ST category. The #31 i-Moto Mazdaspeed3 won the class with the #10 Kinetic/Kia Racing car ahead of the #81 BMW 328i.

1 comment:

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