HD RADIO EVENT PREVIEW: ROAD AMERICA

Round Seven of the 2017 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge brings to a close a grueling mid-Summer schedule which includes four races in two coutries in a six-week span. The CJ Wilson Racing drivers and crew will head to Road America, Wisconsin with the #33 Porsche Fresno/HD Radio Cayman of Marc Miller and Till Bechtolsheimer just six points off the GS Class Championship lead while the #33 Techemet duo of Damien Faulkner and Russell Ward are looking to get back on the podium for the first time since the season opener at Daytona International Speedway back in January. 

The high speed, 4.048 miles and fourteen turns of Road America pose a number of challenges to the drivers and crews of both cars this weekend. With less horsepower than their immediate Championship rivals, the CJWR cars will have their sights set on maximizing their points haul and minimizing mistakes. Both crews recognize that they are long shots for GS Class victory but both also recognize that strong strategy, smart driving and executing on pit lane will go along way to maintaining their respective Championship aspirations. 

Marc Miller, #33 Porsche Fresno/HD Radio Cayman GT4

Road America is a track I have always loved racing at. It is fast and long and has a great Midwestern setting that makes me feel at home. It is a bittersweet venue as this season's struggle for straight line speed makes it a very tough track to pass or defend. Our best chance at a podium is complete perfection from both Till and myself, perfect pit stops and really crafty strategy from the pit box coupled with mistakes from others. That is what has kept us in the fight this season. Optimistically, if we can find a little bit of that lost acceleration it can make all the difference in our ability to win this championship. 

Till Bechtolshiemer, #33 Porsche Fresno/HD Radio Cayman GT4

My main goal for Road America is to spend no time upside-down, that would be a big improvement from last year. Of the remaining four races, Road America is likely to be the most challenging for us on pace so I’m hoping for a little help from Mother Nature. I’ll be prepping for the weekend by perfecting my rain dance – it’s like the Macarena, only better.

Damien Faulkner, #35 Techemet Cayman GT4

Road America, as the name suggests, is a track of gargantuan scale. The nature of the venue probably will not suit our current package however, this just makes our challenge greater and perhaps more interesting. Russell and myself will have to keep our heads down and work harder to create the luck we’ve been missing

Russell Ward, #35 Techemet Cayman GT4 

I’m looking forward to racing at Road America. The last time I drove here was over five years ago in a 24 Hours of Lemons race in a 1987 Nissan 300 ZX (below), so there will be a lot of catching up to do.

CJ Wilson, Team Owner

On the GT4 side, this weekend is really huge for us.   We are massively outgunned in horsepower to the other cars but need to grab as many points as possible.  If it rains we will have to put the paddles out and try to motorboat the Porsche Caymans around the heavier cars.  I know Marc and Till are really looking forward to it. 

Damien and Russell have had some bad luck but this track will really show how much work they have been putting in this summer.  Damo has probably raced here 20 times and will have a big hand in helping Russell getting the most out of the #35 car. 

The Green Flag drops for the Road America 120 on Saturday, August 5th at 5:30 EST. You can watch the race live via IMSA TV and you can get lap-by-lap updates via the CJ Wilson Racing Twitter feed, @cjwilsonracing.

Declan Brennan