@multimaticrace • ATLANTA, GA – The longest winless streak in Multimatic Motorsports’ 22-year history was finally snapped by Ian James and Billy Johnson at Road Atlanta with a victory in the final round of the 2014 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (CTSC).
James qualified the #158 Multimatic Motorsports/Miller Racing Mustang a solid P6 with only two flying laps available before a red flag curtailed the session. He started the race conservatively on a damp but drying track and kept the car out of trouble and safely in the top five before handing over the spotless Boss302R to Johnson with an hour and a half remaining in the race.
Johnson, who had won the 2013 season finale at Lime Rock Park and was motivated to repeat the achievement in 2014 didn’t waste any time getting to the front, passing the #6 Camaro for the lead with 25 laps to go. After briefly losing out to the Stevenson Chevy on a messy restart, Johnson made a spectacular outside pass at corner five with three wheels in the grass to retake the lead and ran the final 17 laps without challenge, winning by a margin of 2.186 seconds and taking the first checkered flag for Multimatic Motorsports in over three years.
On top of this streak-busting win, Scott Maxwell, in the #15 Multimatic Mustang, set the fastest time by a wide margin in second practice, qualified Q2 a scant .040 seconds off the pole in the abbreviated session, took the lead in the first corner of the race, in damp conditions, and proceeded to dominate for the first hour before handing off to co-driver Jade Buford.
Buford, who had the championship battle to worry about, kept the #15 in the top seven and out of harm’s way. With half an hour remaining, all challengers for third in the championship had suffered mechanical issues and Buford was given the green light to race. He brought the #15 home in P4, making a spectacular outside move down the hill on the last lap, and solidly secured third in the team championship with 273 points. Maxwell and Buford earned nine top ten finishes, four top fives and one podium at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP) during the 2014 CTSC.
James and Johnson had a tough season of bumps, shunts, fires, wrecks and mechanical failures but the pair still managed to accumulate three podium finishes and end the season with a big win. Coming into the final two rounds of the championship the #158 was sitting outside of the top ten in points but with a third place at COTA and the 35 championship points secured at Atlanta the driving team managed to finish the season in seventh.
Multimatic Motorsports’ efforts with the aging Boss 302R resulted in Ford finishing third in the Manufacturers championship, a scant two points behind Chevrolet who had the advantage of campaigning four of the highly touted new Camaro Z/28s. The team and manufacturer now look ahead to 2015 when they will campaign the new model Mustang which will more than level the playing field in the muscle car battle. When and where the new car will debut still remains a tightly held secret but expectations are high. The Boss 302R, now in its final days of competition, has accumulated 9 wins and 22 podium finishes in the CTSC since 2010 (all of the wins can be attributed to either Billy Johnson or Scott Maxwell).
Highlights of the season include: Jade Buford scored pole position for the opening round of the season at Daytona driving the oldest car in the field. The ‘school-bus’ yellow #15 Boss 302R, chassis X1A, had been last run by Multimatic during the 2011 season spending time in museums and on test tracks since its last race.The Multimatic Motorsports crew secured a double podium at CTMP, the team’s home event. Billy Johnson and Scott Maxwell brought the #158 and #15 home second and third respectively for the team’s first podium finishes of the season.At COTA, the Multimatic Mustangs owned the front row in qualifying, with Johnson taking his first career CTSC pole and Maxwell setting the Q2 time. In a race that saw extremely variable weather conditions, Ian James managed to finesse the #158 past the #6 Camaro in the closing laps, on dry tires in extremely wet conditions, to claim a third place finish. Buford, driving the #15, was one of the few competitors to opt for rain tires, which resulted in a three or four second advantage per lap. Making up for an earlier fuel issue and a minor collision Buford carved through the field to finish P5.In the final event of the season James and Johnson scored Multimatic’s first win since 2011 and Maxwell and Buford claimed third in the championship with their P4 finish.
Multimatic Motorsports Team Principal, Larry Holt, commented: “This was a tough season of highs and lows that ended on an extreme high. I can’t thank the boys enough for the tremendous effort they all put forth through the tough periods. We knew going in that competing with the Boss302R would be tough against the more recently engineered Z/28s and M3s but we only just missed beating Chevrolet to second in the manufacturer’s championship which was a fantastic achievement. Of course losing a brand new car at Laguna due to that spectacularly idiotic move by the Aston was a massive setback which in retrospect probably cost us that second place in the championship. But the team rallied and built a third car in a month and it all came good at Mosport (CTMP) when we got both Mustangs on the podium. From then on the team had the results we should have enjoyed all season, owning the front row in Texas and winning at Atlanta. If the rest of the year had gone like that then the outcome would have been the biggest upset in series history. The Boss302R has served us well but we now are looking forward to racing the newer and much improved 2015 Mustang. Stay tuned.”
From: Multimatic Motorsports // www.multimaticmotorsports.com