It was an interesting race this weekend at the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge at Road America, part of the Grand-Am series. After wet practice and qualifying sessions, the race ended under caution when Nico Rondet crashed hard into a barrier that destroyed the pole-winning No. 18 Insight Racing BMW 328i with 24 minutes remaining and significantly damaged the wall.
The situation made it hard for most of the drivers to flex their skills, including the StopTech-equipped No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M3 driven by Paul Dalla Lana and Bill Auberlen, who have racked up five podium visits including a win so far this season.
"We went out to do a specific plan of tests, and did all we wanted to accomplish," Auberlen said after landing the fastest practice session time. "Now we're evaluating what we learned. I know we've got a good car. We tested here in wet conditions and that gave us a good foundation."
The truncated race left the team down in eighth place by the time the checkered flag waved. However this was enough to keep them the lead for the Driver's Championship, still holding a 15 point lead with 206 over Jack Roush/Billy Johnson with 191 points.
The narrowing gap should make an exciting home stretch for the season. The next race is less than two weeks away with the Grand Am series moving on to the Continental Tire Sports Car Festival Powered on July 8-9 at Laguna Seca in Salina, California.
This weekend's race at Road America will air on SPEED on July 3 at 1pm EST.