Edwards Survives Late Challenge For Second CTSCC Win Of 2013


John Edwards stayued ahead of the pack in the final minutes of the race (Credit: Grand-Am)

John Edwards got the better of a crucial restart with just three minutes remaining to win the Continental Tires Sports Car Challenge (CTSCC) race at Kansas Speedway. In the Stevenson Motorsports Camaro started by Matt Bell Edwards withstood pressure from points’ leader Matt Plumb in the Rum Bum Racing Porsche to hold onto the lead.

Edwards was allowed into the briefest of comfortable leads by Shelby Blackstock’s slow restart in the in #51 Roush Performance Mustang, but Plumb was right back on the rear bumper of the Camaro for the first turn off the speedway banking and onto the infield of the ‘roval’ track.

Plumb peppered the back of Edwards machine for the remaining minutes, but the speed of the Camaro around the banking allowed Edwards to score the Stevenson crew’s second CTSCC win of the year. Blackstock completed the podium with co-driver Joey Atterbury ahead of the FallLine Motorsports BMW of Bryan Sellers and Mark Boden.

Boden briefly led before the first caution period of the two hour, 30 minute race but pitted under the caution to hand the lead back to pole sitter Jade Buford in the Multimatic Motorsports Aston Martin. Buford led the opening lap, but was passed by Bryan Heitkotter – a former graduate of the Nissan GT Academy – on lap two.

Heitkotter, driving a Doran Racing Nissan 370Z solo, led the following 16 laps until Buford retook the lead. Lap 22, however, brought Heitkotter into the pits with front suspension damage, dropping from the lead battle and promoting Bell to second place. Edwards took over the car in the first round of pitstops that straddled the opening caution period and took the lead under the final pitstops of the race ahead of the Porsches of Ken Wilden and Matt Plumb.

Plumb took second place from Wilden on lap 70. Ten laps later BGB Motorsports driver Wilden tangled with the #140 Aston Martin Vantage of Automatic Racing under braking for turn one. The trajectory of the spinning Porsche took it back across the track where it collected the Sports Tuner class leading i-Moto Mazda of Pierre Kleinubing.

Kleinubing’s exit was the penultimate play in the battle between the i-Moto Mazda 3s and the Honda Civics of the HART and RSR Motorsports teams.

Derek Jones and Chad Gilsinger, starting drivers in the #32 Mazda and #93 Honda respectively swapped the class lead back and forth throughout the first 40 laps of the race leading up to the first caution flag.

The battle between the two cars continued after driver changes Michael Valiante taking over the Honda, Taylor Hacquard the Mazda. Into the battle moved Kleinubing from fourth to the lead in five laps.

The final twist in the battle was left for the restart after the multi-car crash. Valiante led to the restart but was penalised for ‘manipulating the restart’. The penalty, added on to his race dropped him from first across the line to 11th in class, handing victory to Hacquard, Jones and i-Moto.

Terry Borcheller and Matt LaMarra finished second in class for Burton Racing in the BMW 128i. Compass360 Racing pairing Kyle Gimple and Ryan Eversley completed the class podium.