John Edwards and Trent Hindman piloted the #46 Fall-Line M3 to a win in the 2 ½ hour Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. It was the first CTSCC win for 18-year-old Hindman, and the sixth for Edwards.
Hindman and Edwards had come into the race leading CTSCC Grand Sport drivers’ points, having finished second in the first two races of the season. Hindman started the #46 M3 from his third career pole. At the start he dropped to second behind Eric Curran in the CKS Autosport Camaro Z28, but he regained the lead before handing off to Edwards. The CKS Camaro, with Lawson Aschenbach in for Curran, was the M3’s strongest challenger the rest of the way. Edwards appeared to have an edge, but the gap closed on multiple occasions because of full-course yellow flag periods. After the final caution period, the seventh of the race, Edwards won a six-minute shootout with Aschenbach for the win.
Hindman said afterward, “My plan at the start was to play it by ear, because I figured the Camaro would get us at the start, because it was blindingly fast. I wanted to be patient and play it smart, because I knew our car was great over the long runs. As soon as I got the opportunity, I took it, and put John in the best position possible. John drove a heck of a stint. They put tons and tons of pressure on him, and he brushed it off each time. It was incredible just watching John. That was the kind of driving I aspire to do in the future.”
Shelby Blackstock and Ashley Freiberg, winners of the season opener at Daytona, finished seventh in the #48 Fall-Line M3, and Turner Motorsport’s Michael Marsal and Tim Kimber-Smith finished fifteenth.
Mazda owned the Street Tuner class; a trio of MX-5s battled for the class lead throughout the race, with Andrew Carbonell and Randy Pobst taking the win. BMWs finished in the next three positions; defending class champions Terry Borcheller and Mike LaMarra in the #23 Burton 128i were fourth, BimmerWorld’s Tyler Cooke and Greg Liefooghe in the #81 328i were fifth, and Seth Thomas and Dan Rogers were sixth in another BimmerWorld 328i. Borcheller passed Liefooghe for fourth on the last lap of the race.
CTSCC runs again at Lime Rock on Memorial Day weekend, with separate races for the Grand Sport and Street Tuner classes.—Brian S. Morgan