IMSA: CTSC race highlights Friday updates ahead of Rolex 24

Photo courtesy of IMSA
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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – On a day when there’s only one hour of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship running before tomorrow’s 55th Rolex 24 at Daytona, there’s still a lot going on.

The four-hour BMW Endurance Challenge for the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge is in the books, kicking off that series’ season.

Race winners were Trent Hindman and Cameron Cassels, overall and in GS, in the No. 12 Bodymotion Racing Porsche Cayman GT4 over the pair of CJ Wilson Racing Porsches, the No. 33 car (Marc Miller, Till Bechtolsheimer) ahead of the No. 35 car (Damien Faulkner, Russell Ward). In ST, Luis Perocarpi’s LAP Motorsports team secured its first win with the MINI JCW, the No. 73 car driven by Mat Pombo and Derek Jones.

Here’s some of the day’s other activities, and more will be added later:

  • The final practice is complete for the race. Once again, it was a Cadillac DPi-V.R up front, this time Jordan Taylor in the No. 10 Konica Minolta entry. Times from the session are linked here. Notable was the effort of the DragonSpeed car to return to the track after overnight repairs building up a new tub, which was completed at 3:30 a.m.
  • IMSA key officials Scott Atherton (President, IMSA) Ed Bennett (CEO, IMSA), David Pettit (Vice President of Marketing, IMSA) and Simon Hodgson (Vice President of Competition, IMSA) were on hand to preview the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season. Topics addressed included the premiere of the new cars, planned improvements to FOX Sports’ TV coverage, and the ongoing topic that is Balance of Performance. Atherton said if most manufacturers are all a little upset, it means IMSA is doing its job correctly. Hodgson explained IMSA’s data logging process, with tens of gigabytes of data being gathered to determine whether each car is meeting its ultimate performance.
  • A couple quick news notes: Motul has signed as title sponsor of Motul Petit Le Mans, the season finale race at Road Atlanta in October. IMSA has also announced one of its “Proud Charities,” the Austin Hatcher Foundation, has planned to build a new, permanent headquarters in Chattanooga, Tenn. Joey Hand, the GT Le Mans polesitter for Ford, was presented with the Austin Hatcher Foundation Humanitarian Award for his volunteer work.
  • Various media availabilities followed in the afternoon on what is largely a day for teams to finalize their prep and development work. Of note, the same media scrum that followed Jeff Gordon at previous Daytona tests again followed him today, with Jordan Taylor left to wonder where anyone’s questions were for him.

Eli Tomac wins Houston Supercross: Hunter Lawrence takes early 250 East lead

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With his 47th career victory and third of the 2023 season in Houston, Eli Tomac closed to within one win of tying Ricky Carmichael for third on the all-time Monster Energy Supercross list.

Tomac rebounded from last week’s crash by earning the holeshot in both his heat and the Main. At the start of the big show, he couldn’t shake Aaron Plessinger in the first four minutes and actually was in the process of losing the lead as a red flag waved for a crash involving Tomac’s teammate Dylan Ferrandis when he overjumped an obstacle and landed on Ken Roczen’s back fender as they raced for eighth.

“That was a tough race,” Tomac told NBC Sports’ Will Christien, referencing his loss to Chase Sexton in the heat. “And honestly, I was just beat down after that heat race and was searching quite a bit and was basically losing speed everywhere. I just rode better, straight up in the Main. I felt better.”

In their heat, Sexton passed Tomac at the two-minute mark and then simply rode away from the field. At the end, he had an almost eight-second gap on Tomac.

“It wasn’t great by any means,” Sexton told Jason Thomas. “I feel like the strengths I had all day, I really lagged in the Main event between the whoop and the sand section. I think I could have walked through it faster. It was still a good ride; it wasn’t great. I expected after the heat race he would be fired up.”

RESULTS: How they finished for the 450 Main in Anaheim 2

Jason Anderson scored his second consecutive pole, but he was not happy to finish third behind the two points’ leaders.

“We should be thankful every time we get to be up here,” Anderson said. “They’re making it tough on me, but all I can do is give my best.”

Tomac had to withstand a red flag and the distant second place finish in his heat to win the Houston Supercross race. In the post-race conference, he indicated that he did not make any changes to the bike and simply rode better.

Aaron Plessinger and Cooper Webb rounded out the top five.

Ferrandis was fitted with a neck brace, but still able to walk to the medical cart. He was still being evaluated by the medical staff as the night came to a close.


In 250s Hunter Lawrence entered the 250 East opener as the consensus favorite to win the championship this year with Christian Craig making the move into 450s and his brother Jett Lawrence in the West division. He answered quickly with a huge lead in Heat 1, but it almost went awry in the Main.

Lawrence got a good start, but he was passed early in the race by two-time MXGP champion (2020, 2022) Tom Vialle, who was making his Supercross debut this week. Vialle passed Lawrence on the first lap. When Lawrence tried to pass him back, Vialle scrubbed speed off a jump and pushed Lawrence wide, over the Tuff Blox.

Championships are made out of Lawrence’s response. He kept his composure and did not overcorrect before methodically working his way to the front.

“We had a little off track excursion. I wasn’t sure how hard across Tom was coming so I thought I’ll just go left, but then saw that was the side of the track. Thankfully I didn’t hit the Tuff Blox and got back on track safely. … Good start; put myself in position.”

Click here for full 250 East Main Results

Making a move from the 450 class to 250s, Max Anstie had immediate success. He finished second in his heat behind Jordon Smith and lined up with a great gate pick. He had to overtake Vialle in the opening laps and lost ground on Lawrence, that cost enough time to keep him from pressing Lawrence. This is Anstie’s first podium in the United States

“Honestly, I’ve dreamed of this for a long time to come up on these steps and man it’s a great feeling. I’ve really enjoyed the day and being on this 250, I feel like an 18-year-old kid. Everyday I’m learning.”

Smith backed up his heat win with a podium finish.

“It feels good to be back up here again,” Smith said. “It’s been a long time; a lot of injuries.”

Haiden Deegan proved the hype surrounding his debut in the 250 class was not unfounded. He finished fourth in his heat to advance to directly into the Main. During the early laps, he was circling the track in a podium position until a minor mistake sent him off the box. In the closing laps, he narrowly made an aggressive pass on Jeremy Martin and narrowly missed the podium with a fourth-place finish.

Martin held on to round out the top five.

Vialle was running in a podium position when went down with a 1:30 left on the clock. He ended his night seventh.

Chance Hymas was also making his 250 debut and scored a top-10 in eighth.

2023 Race Recaps

Anaheim 2: Triple Crown produces new winners Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen
San Diego: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence double down
Anaheim 1: Tomac wins opener for the first time

Houston coverage

Houston by the numbers
Supercross unveils 16th edition of a Ricky Carmichael designed Daytona track
Power Rankings after week 3
Malcom Stewart out for “extended duration” after knee surgery
Haiden Deegan makes Supercross debut in Houston, Justin Cooper to 450s
Talon Hawkins set to relieve injured Jalek Swoll in Houston
Jalek Swoll out for an indefinite period with broken arm
Ken Roczen urgently needed a change
Chris Blose joins Pro Circuit Kawasaki in 250 East opener
Seth Hammaker to miss Houston with wrist injury
Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list