By   January 31, 2016

Ford

Ford Performance Shelby Mustang GT350R-C

The Rolex 24 may start in just a few hours, but on January 29th the Ford Shelby Mustang GT350R-C managed its first victory at Daytona International Raceway. The race opened the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season and it started the way that Ford wanted. Not only did they win the race, but they managed a 1-2 finish.

Billy Johnson and Scott Maxwell piloted the winning GT350R-C for the third victory by the competition version of the GT350 in the series (the first of the new season). The battle for first became between the two Mustangs when the Porsche of top challenger Matt Plumb had fuel pump issues forcing him out of the race.

Coming in second was the team of Pierre Kleinubing and Paul Holton. That isn’t a bad result for the two when you consider that it was their first race together.

“It was great to see two Ford Performance Shelby GT350R-Cs on the podium after all the hard work everyone’s done getting the car to where it’s at,” Johnson said. “It’s the first time the car’s competed at Daytona and we’re really happy to be in victory lane with the car and a 1-2 finish for the GT350R-C. Scott did a fantastic job on the first stint and I just can’t thank him and the team enough for all the hard work and good job they do.”

“It was my first race in this car, and it’s a very different car to drive, for me,” Holton said. “I’ve driven Street Tuner and GT cars, nothing with that kind of torque and that small of a tire. The Continental Tires are really good. We had a really green track because it was raining all week and this was the first dry day. I didn’t have a single dry lap going into that race, so as we went on, the track got grippier and grippier and then greasier and greasier, so it was quite a handful. The car changed a lot. The track changed a lot over the course of the race.”

“The car is awesome. I can’t give the car enough praise. It’s going to be a really good car for the (Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge championship) this year.”