FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (April 11th, 2011)
Multimatic Motorsports got it all right at Barber Motorsports Park with a combination of superb driving, a quick car and perfect strategy; giving the Boss 302R its first Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge win. Other than a brief period in the middle of the event when opposing strategies dropped the #15 car down the leader board, the Mustang specialist driving duo of Scott Maxwell and Joe Foster spent all of their time at or near the front of the intense battle that raged amongst the top ten cars for the entire two and a half hour event. In the end it was a perfectly executed pass by Maxwell on BMW stalwart Bill Auberlen, with only five minutes to go, that put the Mustang back in the lead for the last, and most important time. The bright yellow Boss 302R, a tribute to the Parnelli Jones 1970 Trans-Am Championship Winner, took the checker with a comfortable margin as the German car’s pace fell off in the last two laps. Highlights of the weekend were as follows:
- “Front Row Joe” Foster made it three poles in four years at Barber by carefully picking track space and nailing his first flyer. A perfunctory second lap didn’t improve the time and so the team parked the car for the rest of the session. Nobody was able to better Foster’s 1:36.906 which was an amazingly narrow 0.03 seconds off of his 2010 lap record setting pole in the same car. It appears that the only reason Foster hasn’t gone four poles in four years at Barber is that he didn’t compete in 2009. His 2008 FR500C pole also ended in a race victory and led to he and Maxwell winning the championship.
- Foster’s opening stint was almost a boring repetition of what he has managed to do consistently over the past couple of years, holding off the normal first corner attacks, setting a rhythm and never letting another competitor near him. Although Jack Roush Jr. had a great run up to P2 in the #61 Boss 302R during the opening stages he could not match Foster’s outstanding ability to handle lapped traffic and so was never a factor to challenge for the lead. The team took the opportunity to execute a full service stop at the first yellow just inside the planned window and Maxwell stormed into battle in a tight group of highly competitive Mustangs, BMWs and Camaros.
- A minor driver change glitch and marginal set of scrubbed tires cost the Canadian some time in the middle stint as he circulated in fifth place while the Roush Mustang led briefly with Billy Johnson now at the wheel. The turning point of the race occurred on lap 39 when team principal Larry Holt chose to make a yellow flag stop slightly outside of the car’s finishing window. The gamble paid off as the caution extended and sufficient fuel was conserved. Only a handful of teams made the same call, including Auberlen’s Turner crew, which set-up the final battle for the win. But it was Maxwell who ultimately received the credit for getting it done as he called in for how much time to go, received the “five minutes” message, and immediately set-up a masterful pass on the old BMW König who was struggling on worn tires and never had a hope of resisting.
“That was a fun and highly successful weekend. The guys gave us a perfect car and I got lucky with a clear lap on my first qualifying attempt which was in contrast to the situation that occurred at Homestead. This series is getting more and more competitive with every race and there are twelve or fourteen cars that can legitimately challenge for the win. Every aspect of what we do must be perfect to end on the podium. A fast car is not enough... we also need good strategy, good pit stops and, of course, there is no margin for error behind the wheel. The real challenge is trying to get through the lapped traffic while you are in a dogfight with five other guys. Today we seemed to do a good job of this. The last time we won this race we won the championship... it’s a good omen.”
“I love to win and so I’m a happy guy. An excellent weekend all round. Once again, like Daytona, Billy and I were fighting it out towards the end, and once again I made a pass on him that I wouldn’t have attempted with many other people. That guy is a terrific driver and the only reason he didn’t win was because he had no tires left. But that’s just too bad for him! Larry made a terrific call mid-race which initially looked a bit dicey as I found myself in fifteenth but that soon sorted out when the other guys had to stop. We are leaving Barber in second place behind Auberlen in the championship so we need to keep-up the intensity.”
“This result got a few monkeys off our back. First of all it’s the car’s first victory despite the fact we have been in a position to win so many times in the past year or so. The Boss R pretty much always had the pace but something has prevented us from putting it all together. Second, it vindicated a terrible race that we endured here last year when Joe put it on the pole and a bad strategy call resulted in an eight place finish... that was a time that we had the pace and just didn’t execute. But, this weekend the team did everything right. The guys engineered a perfect race car which allowed Joe to stick it on the pole again; which he pretty much now owns at this place. And then Maxwell just got it done once again; his pass on Bill was just art!”
SPEED Channel will air the Barber 200 on April 16th at 2:00 p.m. EST.
Round four of the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge takes place May 22nd at Virginia International Raceway.
Follow Multimatic Motorsports on Twitter (MultimaticRace) and YouTube (MultimaticMotorsport).
Hao Wang or Sean Mason