This week, Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge teams tested at the Circuit of The Americas near Austin, Texas in preparation for March 2 event.
This week’s test at the Circuit of The Americas near Austin, Texas gave several Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge teams some much-needed track time at a first-time facility.
Jack Roush Jr., Grand Sport co-winner of last month’s BMW Performance 200 at Daytona, said there’s no comparing Daytona International Speedway, a 12-turn, 3.56-mile layout and Circuit of The America’s purpose built, 3.4-mile road course designed for lightweight, high-horsepower Formula 1 cars.
“It will be the most technical track on which we race [in 2013],” said Roush. “As a driver, getting time on the track [before race weekend] was a good thing.”
Because the number – and types – of cars testing was limited, Roush said it was difficult to assess how his No. 61 Mustang Boss 302R stacks up against other manufacturers when official practice begins for the March 2 event. “We didn’t get a good feel for which cars might be strongest,” he said.
Roush, however, expects the Mustang, which he shares with Billy Johnson, to be competitive.
“We’ll adjust our set-ups from Daytona,” the GS points co-leader said. “The car will be good there.”
Roush thinks there will be multiple passing zones but it will take skill and courage to pull off the passes.
“There are some tight turns and the apexes are extremely small,” Roush said. “You can sacrifice entry speed and dive bomb [a competitor]. Can you get a good exit and keep the lead? That is a good question.”
BGB Motorsports also participated in the test and team principal John Tecce is impressed with the facility and glad his team got some extra time on the track.
"We ran a lot of laps and I'm told we aren't as fast as the Astons,” said Tecce. “But any time you run nearly 500 miles over two days with both cars and have happy drivers, it’s not a time to complain but to be thankful. If we have a good race our strategy and pit stops will always take care of the rest."
BGB is looking to rebound from a difficult week at Daytona in which the team’s two Porsche Carrera cars finished ninth and 13th. On paper, the results don’t look great. But considering the challenges the organization overcame, Tecce was pleased with the outcome.
“Given that 12 hours later our guys had our two cars prepped for the morning warm up, given the pit speeding penalties, several stops to pit road and another clutch issue on lap one that Rod [Randall] and Kenny [Wilden] nursed for 2.5 hours, I will take ninth and 13th,” said Tecce.
Daytona to the Texas test represented a quick turnaround – especially with necessary repairs.
“I’m thankful for a crew that was able to recover 48 hours after I ran them into the ground in January,” he said. “I want to try and give them all some much needed R&R.”
Tecce also anticipates entering the team’s GX Porsche Cayman in the Austin race. He co-drove the car to a 3rd-place finish in class in the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
The Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race from Circuit of the Americas will be broadcast on SPEED at 4 p.m. ET on March 9.