Last in our list of major or supporting North American series we’re reviewing on MotorSportsTalk is the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, the undercard on most GRAND-AM Rolex Series weekends in 2013.
The GS (Grand Sport) class saw Matt Plumb and Nick Longhi take the title in their Rum Bum Racing Porsche 997, by 32 points over the Stevenson Motorsports’ Camaro pair of John Edwards and Matt Bell. Plumb and Longhi won three races to the Edwards/Bell pair’s two, and were also generally more consistent over the course of the year.
Things were closer in ST (Street Tuner) as the Burton Racing BMW 128i pair of Terry Borcheller and Mike LaMarra edged the Compass360 Racing Honda Civic Si pair of Ryan Eversley and Kyle Gimple. Borcheller and LaMarra won by nine; they also won twice to offset their bad days, while Eversley and Gimple’s consistency wasn’t enough to overcome their lack of a win.
Generally these races are barnburners with combined fields anywhere from the mid-50s to north of 70 cars on track at any one time between the two classes. Many TUDOR United SportsCar Championship drivers often dovetail their commitments there with appearances in the Continental series, and the latter series is the better for it. It’s always an entertaining show and hopefully we can provide more coverage, time and availability pending, in 2014.
“A huge blessing for us there,” Tomac told host Mike Tirico during a “Lunch Talk Live” interview (click on the video above) in which he also joked about becoming a pro at busting off diaper changes. “That was one good blessing for us as we had our daughter on a Sunday, that would have been on a travel day coming back from the race in Las Vegas.
“That was probably the only positive out of all this mess was being able to be there for the birth.”
The elevation could favor Tomac, who was born and lives in Colorado and is accustomed to riding and training at altitude, which is a departure for many Supercross riders (many of whom hail from California and Florida).
“That’s going to be the test for us,” said the Kawasaki rider, who five of the first 10 races this season. “We’re at elevation in Salt Lake, so when you’re on a motorcycle, you have a little bit of a loss of power. That’s just what happens when you come up in elevation. And a lot of guys train at sea level, and we’re at 4,000 to 5,000 feet, so cardio-wise, we’ll be pushed to the limit.
“Most of our races are Saturday nights and back to back weeks, but this go around it’s Sunday and Wednesday, so recovery is going to be key.”
“Most of us we can rely on our past riding pretty well,” Tomac said. “The question is if you can go the distance. That’s what a lot of guys have to train on is going the distance. We go 20 minutes plus a lap. That’s what you’ve got to keep sharp is your general muscles. Within two to three days, your brain starts warming up more if you take a few weeks off the motorcycle.”
Here is the schedule and TV information for the rest of the season:
Sunday, May 31 (3-4 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4-6 p.m. ET, NBC);
Wednesday, June 3 ( 10:00 pm – 1:00 am ET, NBCSN);
Sunday, June 7 (5-8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
Wednesday, June 10 (7–10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
Sunday, June 14 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
Wednesday, June 17 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
Sunday, June 21 (3-4:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. ET, NBC).