Round 7 of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge (CTSC) takes place this weekend at Road America. The MINI JCW Team will be looking to continue the momentum they’ve gained in recent weeks.
The summer portion of the CTSC schedule tends to be frantic with many races taking place over a short period of time. This has actually been a good thing as far as the MINI JCW Team is concerned. This, combined with recent balance of performance changes have allowed the team to flex their muscle as they improve from race to race. The team has hit a groove the likes of which they’ve never experienced before.
At Road America we will see the departure of one popular driver and the return of another.
The team parted ways with James Vance who had started the season driving the #52 MINI JCW and recently switched to the #37. It’s really a shame since Vance had done some of his best driving in recent weeks. Mark Pombo returns to the #37 after a three race absence and as practice and qualifying would show, he hasn’t slowed down a bit.
The team showed good speed in both practice sessions, the best of which was the first session. Brothers Mat and Mark Pombo both put up top 10 speeds. Mat Pombo had an excellent lap of 2:31.594 which had him leading most of the practice session and ultimately ending up with the second fastest time.
When qualifying arrived, the team looked prime to grab some great starting positions. Derek Jones took the the wheel of the #73 and and showed why he’s been the teams best qualifier of the season and the only one on the team to win a pole. In the end, all three MINIs found themselves with top 15 starting positions which bodes well for tomorrow’s race.
If the team continues their recent upward trend, don’t be surprised if you see them on the podium when the checkered flag waves.
The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase takes place tomorrow August 6th at 12:35 PM. You can watch the race streamed live on IMSA.tv and on the IMSA mobile app.