CTSCC: Billy Johnson Banks First Career SportsCar Challenge Pole at COTA

RaceChaser Staff Featured, Road Racing, WeatherTech, West 0 Comments

AUSTIN, Texas – official release — IMSA photo — Competing in his 101st career Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge race, Billy Johnson came to Circuit of The Americas without having a TOTAL Pole Award on his otherwise impressive resume.

He changed that in qualifying on Thursday, running a lap of two minutes, 22.504 seconds (85.892 mph) in the No. 158 Multimatic Motorsports/Miller Racing Ford Mustang Boss 302R to capture the Grand Sport (GS) pole for Friday’s race during the Lone Star Le Mans weekend.

It will be an all-Ford front row for the event, which begins at 1:20 p.m. ET (streamed live on IMSA.com). Scott Maxwell was second-fastest in the No. 15 Multimatic Motorsports/Ford Racing Mustang Boss 302R co-driven by Ian James, running a lap of 2:23.000 (85.594 mph).

“We’ve had a pretty rough season for both of our cars,” said Johnson, who co-drives with Jade Buford. “It’s easy to get down when things aren’t going right, but we had a double podium at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. The guys always kept giving 100-percent. They gave me a great car, and it’s great to finally get my first career pole.”

Hugh Plumb qualified third in the No. 13 Rum Bum Racing Porsche 911 co-driven by his brother Matt Plumb, 2:23.211 (85.468 mph), and will be joined on the second row by Lawson Aschenbach, 2:23.307 (85.411 mph) in the No. 01 CKS Autosport Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R co-driven by Eric Curran.

Andrew Davis and Robin Liddell enter the race with a two-point lead in the GS standings over Trent Hindman, 263-261. Davis qualified fifth with a lap of 2:23.325 (85.411 mph) in the No. 6 Stevenson Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.R, while Hindman qualified ninth, 2:23.651 (85.207 mph) in the No. 46 Trim-Tex/Cirroco Ozzimo BMW M3 co-driven by John Edwards.

Coming up a bit short on an early bid for the TOTAL Pole Award in Street Tuner (ST) qualifying, Adam Isman cooled the tires on the No. 04 Autometrics Motorsports Porsche Cayman and then made a banzai run on his final lap. It worked, with Isman running a lap of 2:29.977 (81.613 mph) to unseat Austin driver Jeff Mosing from the pole.

“After our first two laps I really didn’t expect to get any faster,” said Isman, who won his first career pole earlier this season at Indianapolis. “But the team came on the radio and said we only needed a little more, so take a slow lap and see if the car comes back. It did, and it’s an awesome way to get the pole position.

“This was one of the few tracks where (co-driver) Remo (Ruscitti) and I co-drove before this season. Having been here last year really helped, along with the fact that we both spent a lot of time on our simulators getting ready for this.”

Isman’s final charge denied Mosing his third pole of the season, although he will start second after running a lap of 2:30.161 (81.513 mph) in the No. 56 Murillo Racing/Mosing Motorcars Porsche Cayman co-driven by Eric Foss.

Stevan McAleer, winner of last year’s ST race, qualified third in the Austin-based No. 5 CJ Wilson Racing ModSpace Mazda MX-5 co-driven by Chad McCumbee, 2:30.668 (81.238 mph).

With two races remaining, Wayne Nonnamaker holds a one-point lead over Foss in the ST standings, 260-259. Will Nonnamaker will start 18th in the No. 42 Team Sahlen Porsche Cayman he co-drives with his brother.

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