Another Enthralling AMERICA’S TIRE 250 Shaping Up for Sunday at Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix
Plumb, Trinkler win thrilling Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge 120
Hugh Plumb took the lead in the final lap in a thrilling finish to Saturday’s IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge 120. (photo: T.M. Hill)
A thrilling finish at the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge 120 and qualifying to shape a captivating AMERICA’S TIRE 250 on Sunday highlighted Saturday action at the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
Military Appreciation Day gratitude and beautiful weather enhanced the atmosphere of the crowd amid a day of exciting racing from the sports cars on the 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course. The competition intensified with tight season championship battles looming over the penultimate round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The grid for tomorrow’s feature event was set with Motul Pole Awards being earned by Jordan Taylor and Renger van der Zande (Prototype), Oliver Gavin and Tommy Milner (GT Le Mans) and Katherine Legge and Alvaro Parente (GT Daytona). Taylor recorded the Prototype track lap record at 1:16.181 seconds. Following closely are co-drivers Dane Cameron and Juan Pablo Montoya in the second position. There is certain to be carryover from last year’s incredible finish with winner van der Zande trying to add to his WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca legacy after last year’s highly-publicized pass on “the Corkscrew” turn to take the lead with two minutes remaining, while Cameron – the driver who lost the lead in that overtake – is out to avenge the defeat at one of his home tracks.
Jordan Taylor’s Prototype track record lap earned him the Motul Pole Award and $1,000 from California Highway Patrol toward the charity of his choice, Camp Boggy Creek. (photo: Ken Weisenberg)
Tomorrow’s AMERICA’S TIRE 250 will follow a high standard set by the teams in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge who staged an amazing two-hour feature race on Saturday. The Grand Sport class was unpredictable with the No. 69 McLaren GT4 leading the first 22 laps before losing a wheel and the No. 28 RS1 Porsche Cayman GT4 MR seeming poised for victory until running out of fuel on the final lap. The charmed season of the No. 46 Camp Boggy Creek/JKTG Foundation Mercedes-AMG continued with Hugh Plumb driving to victory after neither he nor co-driver Owen Trinkler led a lap. They extended their points lead with their second consecutive win and third win in the past four races.
Monterey resident Nick Galante and co-driver Devin Jones won the Super Tuner category in the No. 81 BimmerWorld BMW 328i that is decorated in special livery honoring the names of those afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease to further the cause of Racing 2 End Alzheimer’s. Also climbing to the top step of the podium was Britt Casey Jr. and Tom Long in the No. 77 Compass Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR in the Touring Car category.
The first of two races in Lamborghini Super Trofeo was won by Taylor Proto/Edoardo Piscopo (Pro), JC Perez/Loris Spinelli (ProAm), Brian Thienes (Am) and Mark Proto/Parris Mullins (LB Cup). Pirelli Trophy West USA closed Saturday activity with victories earned by Kevin Woods (Diamond), Sean McAlister (Platinum), Ranson Webster (Gold), Chris Bellomo (Silver) and Michael Kim (Bronze).
Sunday will be abundantly filled with activities outside of the great racing action. The inaugural New Holland Ag Day will include an interactive display in Hagerty Marketplace aimed to educate about the agricultural industry that is prominent in Monterey County. Autograph sessions, a grid walk and a lively vendor area will keep families entertained throughout the facility.
Racing activity begins at 8 a.m. with the AMERICA’S TIRE 250 taking place at 2:05 to 4.45 p.m. Ticket information is available by calling 831-242-8200.